Cougars Fall 2-1 To Red Deer Rebels
The Prince George Cougars four game home stand ended Saturday with a hard-fought one goal loss at the hands of the Red Deer Rebels. Ivan Nikolishin broke open a 1-1 tie early in the third period to lift Red Deer to their 36th victory ending their five game losing streak in the process. Rebels goaltender Trevor Martin made 34 saves between the pipes for the visitors. Tate Olson had the lone goal for the Cougars which came in the late stages of the second period on a Cougars power play.
Red Deer opened the scoring at 8:10 when captain Luke Philp took a pass in the slot and wired a shot past the glove of Nick McBride and home for his second goal of the weekend and his 17th of the season. The first ended 1-0 for Red Deer with the Cougars holding a 10-9 edge in the shots department.
Late in the second period the Cougars solved Trevor Martin for the first time thanks to a power play. Brogan O’Brien made a great play at the blueline to keep the puck onside, he then slid a pass to Brad Morrison who then found Tate Olson in the slot. From there, the Canucks prospect took two strides and wired a shot past Trevor Martin and home for his eighth of the season – Tied game 1-1.
Prince George seemed to feed off of that late goal to start the third as very early on the Cougars peppered the Rebels net with strong scoring chances. Each time though, Martin had an answer. He made terrific stops off of Brad Morrison, Jared Bethune and Brogan O’Brien in the early stages of the final period to keep the game tied.
Ivan Nikolishin restored Red Deer’s lead with his 30th of the season at 5:59 of the third when his shot from the high slot snuck through a maze of bodies and in. But the Cougars kept coming, and would outshot the Rebels 16-5 in the third. Unfortunately the Cougars comeback bid fell short though as the Rebels held on to secure the 2-1 victory, handing the Cougars their 23rd loss of the 2015-16 season.
Prince George outshot Red Deer 35-27 and finished one-for-four on the power play. Red Deer went zero-for-one on their lone power play chance.
Now the Cougars will head South for four straight games against US Division teams. They’ll put their 32-23-3-1 record on the line Tuesday when they battle the Tri-City Americans at the Toyota Center marking the first time that the Cougars have faced the Ams’ since early October 2015.