Monday afternoon in Prince George in front of a crowd of over 4400-strong, the Prince George Cougars dropped a 4-3 decision to the Spokane Chiefs. Despite trailing 3-1 after one period the Chiefs stuck with it, and outscored the Cats 3-0 in the final two periods to secure their 24th victory. The trio of Kailer Yamamoto, Keanu Yamamoto and Hudson Elynuik combined for seven points for the Chiefs while Jansen Harkins and Radovan Bondra each had a goal and a helper for Prince George. Specials teams played a big part in the end result as the Chiefs would go three-for-1o on the man advantage while the Cougars finished zero-for-five. Dawson Weatherill earned the win in net for the Chiefs while Ty Edmonds dropped his second consecutive one-goal outing.
Period one belonged (almost) entirely to the Cougars who out shot the Chiefs 24-7 and out scored them 3-1. Tate Olson got the ball rolling offensively for the Cougars when he wired home his seventh of the season off a low shot from the left point at 6:30 of the opening frame.
Kailer Yamamoto answered for Spokane at 11:54, but back came the Cougars with two quick strikes of their own. Radovan Bondra netted his 27th of the season at 14:27 thanks to a gorgeous pass from Jansen Harkins. Harkins started the rush when he took the defender wide, out-waited the goaltender who slid out to his right, and then slid a perfect pass in front to Bondra. Bondra had all day and all net and made no mistake to make it 2-1.
A few shifts later the Cougars made it 3-1 when Jansen Harkins took a pass from Colby McAuley at the Chiefs blueline, raced wide on the defender and then snuck a quick shot past the stick of Weatherill and home for his 17th.
Period two was a much different story though for the Cougars who managed only three shots compared to the Chiefs’ 10. A lack of discipline cost the Cougars at 5:59 when Hudson Elynuik snuck behind Ty Edmonds and tapped home a Kailer Yamamoto pass from the right point into the open net for his 20th. 3-2 game.
Then just 92 seconds into the third period Spokane’s power play struck again when Keanu Yamamoto buried a Hudson Elynuik pass off a two-on-one rush. Yamamoto’s 22nd was also set up by Jaret Anderdson-Dolan.
Spokane would complete their comeback bid at the 11:20 mark of the third period when Anderson-Dolan slid his 31st of the season under the glove of Edmonds and home off the rush. Anderson-Dolan’s goal marked the third power play goal of the game for Spokane who then held off a late surge from the Cougars to secure the 4-3 road victory.
The final shots were 42-32 for the Cougars who now fall to 1-3-0-1 on their home stand and 37-17-3-1 for the season. Monday’s lost marked the first time all season that the Cougars lost a game in regulation when leading after two periods. Fortunately for Prince George both Kamloops and Seattle lost, which means the Cougars still hold a four point lead on the Blazers for top spot in the B.C. Division and a three point lead on Seattle for first in the Western Conference.
Next up for the Cats: A ‘must’ win rematch Tuesday evening against the very same Spokane Chiefs. Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. at CN Centre.