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October 28, 2017 5:49 am

Cougars 4 – Tigers 2

Friday, February 13, 2015 @ 10:58 PM

The Prince George Cougars playoff hopes are alive and well with 15 games left in their season. Friday night in Medicine Hat, the Cougars got two goals from Zach Pochiro, two assists from Chase Witala and 41 saves from the red-hot Ty Edmonds in a 4-2 victory over the Tigers. The win helped move the Cougars back to within two points of a playoff spot in the B.C. Division.

Mark Holick’s team exploded out of the gate offensively scoring three goals within the first 7:24 of the game. The three goals all came in an 87 second span starting with a Zach Pochiro power play marker at 5:57 of the first. Pochiro’s 10th came off a slap shot from the high slot that beat Tigers netminder Nick Schneider up high. It was the first Cougars shot of the game.

44 seconds later the Cougars struck again. This time it was the rookie Kody McDonald who spun off a Tiger defender behind their goal. He then wrapped the puck around the net to his forehand and slid a low show past the stick of Schneider and in for his fifth of the season.

A stunned Medicine Hat Tigers crowd went even more quiet 43 seconds later when Chase Witala and Zach Pochiro combined for another goal at the 7:24 mark. Witala made a slick breakaway pass to the speedy Pochiro who did the rest as he beat Schneider up high for his second of the game and 12th of the season.

Tigers coach Shaun Clouston called a timeout after the 3-0 goal and it seemed to calm his team somewhat. Nick Schneider then came up with a massive glove save off of Jansen Harkins a few moments later to keep the Tigers within range.

At 13:18 of the first, Medicine Hat got on the board when Matt Bradley tipped home a Trevor Cox pass at the side of the Cougars goal for his 13th goal of the season. Trevor Cox recorded his league-high 93rd point with the assist on the goal.

At the end of the first the Cougars had a 12-8 edge in the shot department and held a 3-1 lead.

Neither team would score in the second period but it wasn’t for a lack of chances at either side. Medicine Hat peppered the Cougars net with 19 shots, but Ty Edmonds was equal to the task, stopping all 19 of them that he faced. The scariest part of the second took place when the Tigers had a 41 second five-on-three power play, but were unable to convert. At the other end, Nick Schneider did his part stopping all eight shots he faced.

After two periods the shots were 27-20 for Medicine Hat, but the score was 3-1 still for the visitors.

8:28 into the third, Medicine Hat drew closer when Steven Owre knocked home a Blake Penner rebound at the side of the goal to make the score 3-2.

Credit the Cougars for responding positively when the game was back within a goal. Defensively they clamped down and protected their goal by blocking a ton of shots in the final minutes.

Then in the final minute with the net empty, Jari Erricson won a puck battle along the left-wing wall against Kyle Burroughs and then fired the puck into the open cage for his 19th goal of the season.

For a fifth straight game in February, Ty Edmonds was outstanding. He stopped 41 of the 43 shots that the Tigers placed on him including 34 saves combined in period’s two and three. He was named the game’s first star (again) for his efforts.

The Cougar power play went one-for-three while the penalty kill went four-for-five. The victory gives the Cougars at least a single point in four of their five games to start the month of February. Their 22-32-2-2 record moves the team within two points of third place in the B.C. Division. They are also one point back of the fourth placed Vancouver Giants.

Next up for the Cougars, a battle with the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday night at the Enmax Centrium.


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