Cougars Hit The Jackpot
The Prince George Cougars hit the jackpot in more ways than one Friday at home. In front of a crowd of 5272 strong the Prince George Cougars earned a 4-2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders on MEGA JACKPOT ‘PINK IN THE RINK’ night. Over $100,000 was raised during the record-setting 50/50 jackpot draw and once the game was over the Cougars shocked the hockey world when they announced the acquisition of Raiders d-man and Buffalo Sabres prospect Brendan Guhle. During the game itself Ty Edmonds turned aside 30 of the 32 shots he faced and four different players scored as the Cougars earned their league leading 17th victory of the 2016-17 season.
After one period the Cougars held a 1-0 lead. Jared Bethune opened the scoring with an unassisted marker at the 4:53 mark of opening period when he stole the puck in the offensive zone, cut wide on the goaltender and snuck a backhand shot past Raiders starter Nicholas Sanders and home for his ninth of the season. Prince George outshot the Raiders 16-11 in the first frame.
Early in the second period the Cougars increased their lead to 2-0 on a power play when Kody McDonald one-timed home a Tate Olson pass from the left circle and past Sanders for his fifth.
Then the Cougars got into penalty trouble. The Raiders were awarded four straight power plays including two five-on-three advantages. Though they didn’t score on their power play chances, they had a decided edge in the shots category and outshot the Cougars 16-8 in period two. Late in the second the Raiders got on the board when Parker Kelly deflected home a Cam Reagan point shot past Ty Edmonds for his fourth of the season. After two the Raiders were outshooting the Cougars 27-24 but trailed 2-1.
Mid-way through the third period the game remained at 2-1 Prince George with both Ty Edmonds and Nicholas Sanders making terrific saves for their respective teams. Persistence paid off for the Cougars though at the 11:41 mark when Brad Morrison and Jesse Gabrielle teamed up for a highlight reel goal. Brad Morrison hopped onto a puck in the left circle, spun around and flung a perfect backhand pass right to Gabrielle in the right circle who did the rest by firing his 11th of the season past Sanders to restore the Cougars two-goal lead.
Colby McAuley made it 4-1 for the Cougars at 15:57 when he snuck a wrist shot past Sanders and home for his ninth, and his fourth goal over his past three games.
A late goal from Cavin Leth moved the Raiders deficit back within two, but that’s as close as they’d get. The Cougars held on for the 4-2 victory marking their third straight victory and their seventh victory at home this season.
The final shots were 34-32 for the Cougars who finished one-for-three on the power play. Prince Albert finished zero-for-five on their chances.
Next up for the Cougars: The Eastern Conference leading Regina Pats who come to Prince George on Tuesday for a battle of the WHL’s conference leaders.