It was a historical night on many fronts for the Prince George Cougars Saturday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton. On the same night the Cougars matched their all-time mark for goals in a single game (11), set a new record for road victories in a season (19) and Jansen Harkins became the Cougars all-time leading assists leader in an 11-3 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. Colby McAuley led all Cougars with two goals and two assists while eight other players on the Cougars had two-or-more points. Nick McBride earned his fourth straight win in goal turning aside 19 of the 22 shots he faced and the Cats power play went four-for-five.
Offensively the Cougars broke out in a big way in the first period as they staked themselves to a 5-2 lead in the opening 20 minutes. Just a minute and 16 seconds into the game Radovan Bondra snuck his 24th of the season past Edmonton starter Patrick Dea to get the visitors up by a goal. They’d never once trail in the game.
Will Warm answered at 2:28 for Edmonton on a shot from the point to tie the score, but the Cougars found a quick answer on a power play at 6:15.
Jesse Gabrielle took a pass from Jansen Harkins along the right wing and snapped his 23rd of the season past Dea to restore the Cougars lead. The assist for Harkins marked his first of three on the night and temporarily tied him with Troy Bourke for the franchise lead in assists with 152.
Again Edmonton answered when Tyler Robertson deflected home a Connor McDonald pass through Nick McBride for his first of two on the night, but from then on the game belonged entirely to the Cougars.
Tate Olson one-timed his sixth of the season past Patrick Dea at 15:09, and then a minute 24 later Jansen Harkins and Radovan Bondra teamed up for Bondra’s second of the period and 25th of the season to make it 4-2. That assist officially put Jansen Harkins into top spot all-time for the franchise lead in assists with 153, and for good measure he added a third helper on a late Brad Morrison goal at 19:15 to make the game 5-2. Shots were 12-6 Cougars after one.
The game’s next goal wouldn’t come until 12:18 of the second period when Sherwood Park, AB native Colby McAuley whacked home a Jared Bethune rebound on the power play. 25 seconds later Aaron Boyd fired his sixth of the season past Dea off a two-on-one with Jackson Leppard to make it 7-2. Then 13 seconds later Brogan O’Brien connected on his ninth off a slick feed from Jesse Gabrielle to make it an 8-2 lead for the Cougars. It meant three goals in a span of 38 seconds for the Cougars who led the shots category 29-14 through two.
12:58 into the final period Colby McAuley added another power play marker to clinch his second goal and fourth point of the night. Tyler Robertson would get Edmonton a power play goal less than a minute later to make it a 9-3 game, but that’s as close as they’d come.
Kody McDonald placed his 11th of the season past Edmonton’s Josh Dechaine who replaced Dea at the start of the third and just for good measure Josh Anderson added his first goal in a span of 69 games on a late Cougars power play to cement the 11-3 road victory for the Cougars who outshot Edmonton 44-22 through 60 minutes.
14 of the Cougars 20 eligible bodies recorded at least a point Saturday in what proved to be an important game for the Cougars’ power play as well who finished four-for-five while the penalty kill went two-for-three. The Cougars improved their overall record to 35-14-3-0 and their league leading road record now sits at 19-7-2-0. The Cougars 19th road win marks the highest road victory total EVER in a season for the Cougars who will once again square off with the Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday afternoon at 3 PM local time tomorrow at Rogers Place.
- Tate Olson’s first period goal marked the 100th point of his career.
- Brad Morrison recorded his 100th career assist along with his 20th goal of the season.
- Brogan O’Brien had a goal, two assists and a fight to secore the Gordie Howe Hat-Trick.
- Four power play goals in a game is a new season high for the Cougars.
- Since 1997 the Cougars have scored 11 goals on three other occasions: Twice in 1997-98 and once in 2001-2002.