OT loss for Cougars against Giants


The Prince George Cougars are heading home with three out of four points against the Vancouver Giants, after a hard-fought 4-3 overtime loss in a New Year’s Day matinee at the Langley Events Centre.

The Cougars (14-18-4-2) earning a point Monday, following their 7-6 overtime win Saturday against the Giants (20-14-3-2).

Dennis Cholowski scored twice Monday, including forcing overtime when he scored his second of the game in the back half of the third period. Kody McDonald also found the back of the net, scoring his team-leading 19th of the season. Tavin Grant suffered the overtime setback, stopping 34 of 38 shots.

The Cougars got out to another quick start, as Cholowski and McDonald scored 14-seconds apart in the first period to put Prince George up 2-0, and chase Giants’ starter David Tendeck. Cholowski opened the scoring at 6:19, flying down the wing and tucking the puck in at the far-post on a wraparound. Rookie defenceman Jonas Harkins picked up his first WHL point on that goal with an assist.

Then, right after the ensuing face-off, McDonald lit the lamp, as he skated down the middle, and just after he crossed the Giants’ blue-line, he fired a wrist-shot past Tendeck on the blocker-side at 6:33.

McDonald’s goal chased Tendeck out of the Giants net, as he was replaced by Todd Scott, after allowing two goals on just six shots. Tendeck lasting less than seven-minutes Monday, after posting a 40-save shutout his last start against the Cougars on December 17th.

Vancouver did cut into the Cougars’ lead, making it 2-1 less than two-minutes after McDonald’s goal. On their second power-play of the period, Brayden Watts fired a bullet underneath the cross-bar from the circle, that beat Grant over the shoulder at 8:21.

The Giants, in particular Jared Dmytriw, leveled things up five-minutes after Watts’ goal. Dmytriw took a drop pass from Owen Hardy and deked down the left-wing, evading a pair of checkers, before reaching around and tucking the puck in past Grant’s pad 13:26.

Vancouver had the edge in play in the second, outshooting the Cougars 13-3 and they scored the only goal to take their first lead, and it was Dmytriw again. Watts carried the puck into the Cougars’ zone on the left-wing, then dropped it to Dmytriw, who then snapped the puck over Grant’s arm from the slot at 9:05.

Prince George was closing to tying the game late in the middle frame. Aaron Boyd almost had his attempt from behind the net bank off of a defender’s leg and almost in but Scott scrambled back in position to cover the puck.

The Cougars also caught a break in the second ad the Giants had a fourth goal waved off. Darian Skeoch’s point-shot dribbled in, but only after Ty Ronning collided with Grant in the crease. The play was immediately called back.

Vancouver led 3-2 through the third until the Captain and Langley native struck again. With just less than eight-minutes left in regulation, Dennis Cholowski snuck a shot underneath the pad of Scott from the edge of the crease. Cholowski played pass with Jackson Leppard on a two-on-two rush, before he cut in front of the net, and took a return feed from Leppard, spinning the puck underneath Scott’s pad at 12:44.

Tavin Grant’s best save was in overtime, as he reached out and got his glove on a point-blank chance for Vancouver’s James Malm, who was charging down the middle. Malm got his revenge however, not long after.

The Cougars didn’t have a shot in OT, as it was Malm scoring the game-winner two-minutes into the three-on-three session. Malm darted down the middle and picked his spot, over Grant’s shoulder.

FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Giants (OT)

Shots: 38-19 Giants

Power-Plays: Cougars 0-2 Giants 1-5

Three Stars: 1) Jared Dmytriw 2) Dennis Cholowski 3) Owen Hardy

The season series is now split through six games, and they finish the eight-game season series next week in Prince George on January 9-10. Dennis Cholowski extended his point streak to four games with his two goals Monday, and has four goals and eight points in his last four.

After their seven-game road trip, the Cougars now return to Prince George, as they face the Tri-City Americans on January 5 and 6 at the CN Centre. Tickets are available at the TicketsNorth box office, or online at www.ticketsnorth.ca

-Prince George Cougars