Rockets Salvage Weekend Split in PG
The Prince George Cougars and Kelowna Rockets have split their first two games of what will ultimately be four meetings in the month of October. After a 3-0 victory Friday at home the Cougars dropped a 6-2 decision to Kelowna Saturday. Tyson Baillie and Dillon Dube combined for nine points for the Rockets and goaltender Michael Herringer turned aside 35 of the 37 Prince George shots between the pipes. Brad Morrison and Chase Witala supplied the goals for the Cougars, Morrison finished the night with two points.
After a scoreless first period the Cougars had reason to feel optimistic. They outshot the Rockets 14-8 and out-chanced them as well. Josh Anderson and Rodney Southam started the game with a spirited tilt, and the Cougars who had started the night having surrendered the fewest goals against in the entire WHL were locked in defensively.
Lucas Johansen finally solved Ty Edmonds at the 4:34 of the second period when he knocked home a Nick Merkley pass off a two-on-one rush. Johansen finished with a goal and an assist.
At 12:07 of the second Dillon Dube increased Kelowna’s lead when he roofed a backhand shot over the left shoulder of Ty Edmonds and in for his fifth of the season and first of two on the game. Tyson Baillie then got into the act at the 18:20 mark with a shorthanded goal and the Kelowna Rockets took a 3-0 lead into the second intermission.
The Cougars did manage 12 shots on the Kelowna goal in the second, but Michael Herringer stopped them all, including two clutch saves on Jansen Harkins and Chase Witala.
Mack Shields relieved Ty Edmonds in goal to start the third period and was greeted by a Kelowna power play chance and subsequent goal. Cole Linaker knocked home a Dillon Dube rebound at 1:45 of the third to make it 4-0. It was the first of three Kelowna power play goals in the period.
Chase Witala got the Cougars on the board at 10:25 of the third off a low shot from the top of the right circle. Both Jansen Harkins and Chase Witala earned assists on the Witala marker.
Back came the Rockets with two more unanswered power play goals courtesy of Dillon Dube (at 13:44) and Tyson Baillie (17:23).
Brad Morrison would add a late marker for the Cougars off a breakaway at the 18:55 mark of the third, but that’s as close as they’d come as the Rockets held on to secure the 6-2 victory. Kelowna’s power play finished the night three-for-four while the Cougars responded one-for-five.
The loss moves the Cougars record to 3-4 on the young season. The Cougars will wrap up their six game homestand with back-to-back meetings with the Calgary Hitmen on Tuesday and Wednesday night at the CN Centre.