Kody McDonald won’t soon forget his first game against his old team. The former Cougar had a goal, three points and a fight, in the Prince Albert Raiders 6-2 win over the Prince George Cougars Friday night.
McDonald, who was traded to the Raiders on January 6, in a three-player deal, was named the game’s first star, as the Cougars dropped their opening game, of their six-game East Division trip; they face Saskatoon Saturday.
Josh Maser, who was drafted by the Raiders in 2014, scored along with rookie Liam Ryan. Tavin Grant suffered the loss in goal, surrendering six goals on 35 shots.
McDonald opened the scoring almost four-minutes into the game, scoring short-handed at 3:51. McDonald picked up the puck in the neutral zone, came down the left-wing, shrugged off the back-checker, and put it over Grant who showed poke-check.
Maser got his own measure of revenge on his former club, as he tied it 1-1 midway through the first. Aaron Boyd grabbed the puck at his blue-line, before shoveling it ahead to Maser, who snapped the puck over the glove of Ian Scott from the face-off circle at 9:48; his team-best 22nd of the season.
The game didn’t stay tied for very long, as just over two-minutes later, Raiders leading scorer, Jordy Stallard, put the home team back ahead. On a counter-attack, Sean Montgomery dropped the puck to Stallard, who beat Grant on the blocker-side with eight-minutes left.
Early in the second the Cougars clawed back, and Liam Ryan tied it at two, six-minutes into the frame. Ilijah Colin was first to the puck in the corner, digging it free, before feeding Ryan in front of the net, who put it past Scott’s glove at 6:03; Colina has now assisted on both of Ryan’s goals this season.
The Raiders went back ahead late in the second and again, McDonald was in on the play. Prince Albert rushed it back in as the Cougars were trying to make a line change, and it was McDonald dropping the puck to Parker Kelly. He broke right to the net from the boards and slid the puck underneath Grant’s pad at 16:20.
Midway through the second, McDonald fought Cam MacPhee after the two collided in the Cougars’ zone. The two threw some quick punches before tumbling down to the ice. The Raiders led 3-2 after 40-minutes and McDonald showed up on the scoresheet in the third period.
Curtis Miske made it 4-2 for the Raiders, scoring from the slot, after Stallard dropped it back to the trailing forward. Miske squeezed the puck through Grant just 81-seconds into the period. McDonald set up the Raiders fifth goal, dishing the puck to Cole Fonstad on give-and-go sequence, who put the puck off his own skate and in at 8:36. Sean Montgomery finished off the scoring, jamming in a power-play marker from just outside the crease at 10:20 to make it 6-2.
Despite the final score, the Cougars had their chances, including Brogan O’Brien just missing on the power-play. In his first game since December 10th, and with the Cougars down 3-2, O’Brien grazed the outside of the post, after taking a backdoor pass from Ethan Browne. That near miss coming moments before Miske made it 4-2.
FINAL SCORE: 6-2 Raiders
Shots: 35-24 Raiders
Power-Plays: Cougars 0-5 Raiders 1-2
Three Stars: 1) Kody McDonald 2) Parker Kelly 3) Jordy Stallard
The Cougars (18-24-4-3) continue their road trip Saturday, when they visit the Saskatoon Blades at the SaskTel Centre; puck drop is 5:05 pm PT. Fans can listen to the game on 94.3 The GOAT, or they can watch online via WHL Live.
-Prince George Cougars