PRINCE GEORGE, BC - A pair of goals in the final few minutes of second and two more in the third lifted the Prince George Cougars over the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-2 Tuesday night at CN Centre.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes got off to a nice start in this game. Just 3 minutes into the first period, Bryton Sayers was allowed to skate in from the point untouched on the power play and he hammered home his 3rd goal of the season to give Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at the CN Centre. Three minutes later the Cougars got things back to even terms. Tyler Mrkonjic was allowed to skate off the half wall untouched and he slif the puck by Jonny Hogue to tie the game at 1-1. Both teams were able to have a few more scoring chances as the period moved on, but the game remained tied through 20 minutes of play. Lethbridge out shot PG 14-12.
In the second, the two teams would go hard to find the go-ahead goal. With just over 6 minutes remaining in the period, the Cougars would jump into the lead for the first time when Troy Bourke fired the puck by Hogue to give PG a 2-1 lead. That didn't last long. A few minutes later Taylor Cooper moved down the wing and fired a sharp angled shot which beat Adam Beukeboom to even thee score at 2-2. That was Cooper's 9th goal of the season. Shortly after the tying goal, the Cougars would retake the lead for a second time when Jordan Tkatch tipped in the puck. It appeared the puck was kicked in, but after video replay the goal stood and PG would take a 3-2 into the dressing room after 40 minutes of play. The shots favoured the Cougars 27-20.
In the third, the Cougars would keep firing away at the Hurricanes and before it was all said and done they would light the red lamp two more times. With about six minutes left in the game, Brett Roulston scored to give the Cougars a bit of breathing room and extend their lead to 4-2. Less than a minute later, PG would put the icing on the cake when Marc McNulty ripped home a point shot on the power play to give the home team a 5-2 lead and that's the way this game would end. Lethbridge finished the game 1/4 on the power play and Prince George went 1/5. PG out shot Lethbridge 44-26 in this game, but after the Hurricanes out shot the Cougars 14-12 after one period, the Cougars took things over, out shooting the Canes 31-12 in the final 40 minutes of play. The loss drops the Canes overall record to 9-35-2-3 in 49 games this season.
Banged Up & Sick
With 23 games to go in the season, the Hurricanes remain a banged up team. The good news is that some of those players who've been sidelined for a while are getting close to getting back into action. Carter Amson played in Prince George. It was his first game in three months as he's been out with an upper body injury. Carter Folk is getting close to retuning to the line-up as well. Tyler Wong and Teagan Sacher are still out with concussion issues and there no word on when they might return. Captain Josh Derko has knee surgery recently and is now recovering with a brace. The Canes have also been battling the flu bug which has been making the rounds the past week or so as well. Both Macoy Erkamps and Michal Holub missed the game in PG, while three others played under the weather.
This whirlwind trip to BC continues Wednesday night (Jan. 22) when the Hurricanes play the Blazers in Kamloops. This is a match up between two teams sitting at the bottom of the Western Hockey League standings. Like the Canes, the Blazers have really struggled this year with only 10 wins in 26 games. This will be Hurricanes second trip into Kamloops this season. The Blazers won the first meeting back on Thanksgiving Monday. Game time is 8:00 pm MST. The pre-game show on CJOC at 7:30. The Canes will get Thursday off before playing in Vancouver Friday and then in Kelowna Saturday night.