In his first two games with the Prince George Cougars, 17-year-old Josh Maser has scored in each one. Maser’s third period goal helped clinch a 4-1 victory for the Cougars Tuesday over the visiting Tri-City Americans. Ethan O’Rourke chimed in with his first ever WHL goal and Josh Anderson and Kody McDonald had two points each as the Cougars outshot their opponents 37-17. Special teams played a big part as the Cougars power play broke out going two-for-seven and their league best penalty kill shut down the vaunted Americans power play going a perfect four-for-four.
Some first period penalty trouble would cost the Tri-City Americans in the late stages. With just a single single remaining in the Cougars third power play chance of the period, rookie forward Ethan O’Rourke settled a puck in the slot and quickly ripped a shot past the blocker of Ams starter Beck Warm for his first ever goal in the Western Hockey League. The Cougars led 1-0 after one and out shot Tri-City 13-7 in the opening period.
Period two wasn’t much different as the Cougars out shot the Ams 13-4. Luckily for the visitors Beck Warm kept them in it making several timely saves to keep his team within striking distance.
Persistence paid off though for the Cougars when Jared Bethune capitalized on a Cougars power play chance at 18:57 of the second to make it a 2-0 game. For Bethune it was his 10th of the season and it snapped a nine game goal drought dating back to November 18th. The shots after two periods were 26-11 for Prince George.
Morgan Geekie got Tri-City on the board with his 17th of the season at the 6:14 mark of the third, but Jansen Harkins and Josh Maser countered with goals at 12:59 and 17:18 of the final period to help clinch the 4-1 win. Between the pipes Cougars 20-year-old Ty Edmonds earned his 18th victory of the season with a 16 save effort.
With the victory the Cougars B.C. Division lead now sits at eight points with a 23-8-2-0 record. The loss puts Tri-City at 19-12-3-0.
The two teams will meet again Wednesday night at CN Centre marking the Cougars final home game of 2016-17.