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Cougars fall 4-3 to Blazers in final pre-season tilt

Scoring

The Prince George Cougars were edged 4-3 in overtime by the Kamloops Blazers in their pre-season finale at the CN Centre on Saturday. Special teams dominated the boxscore, as both teams combined for 19 powerplays.

Cougars– Joel Lakusta (1 G, 1 A), Tyson Upper (1 G, short-handed), Josh Curtis (1 G, power-play), Ilijah Colina (1 A), Ryan Schoettler (1 A).

Blazers– Quinn Schiemann (1 G, power-play), Connor Zary (1 G), Luke Zazula (1 G), Josh Pillar (1 G, game-winner), Carson Denomie (1 A), Kyrell Sopotyk (1 A), Brodi Stuart (1 A).

Goaltending

Cougars-Taylor Gauthier (L): 33 saves on 37 shots.

Blazers-Rayce Ramsay: 9 saves on 10 shots. Dylan Garland (W): 12 saves on 14 shots.

Power-Play

Cougars-1/9

Blazers-1/10 (1 short-handed goal against)

Game Notes

Pre-Season Finale: Prince George and Kamloops concluded their 2018 pre-season schedule on Saturday. The Cougars finished with a 3-1-1-0 record, the Blazers 4-1-0-0. The Blazers won both pre-season contests against the Cougars, as they won 5-0 back on August 31.

NHL Camps: Joel Lakusta made his pre-season debut after returning from the St. Louis Blues Rookie Tournament squad. Jackson Leppard didn’t dress, as he’s at the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Training Camp. The Blazers were without goaltender Dylan Ferguson (Vegas Golden Knights), defenceman Montana Onyebuchi (Tampa Bay Lightning) and forward Jermaine Loewen (Dallas Stars), as all three are at NHL Training Camps.

Rivalry Renewed: Saturday produced 19 power-plays between the two teams. The Cougars were dinged with 52 penalty-minutes, which they accumulated through two periods. The Cougars finished with five defenceman, after Austin Crossley was assessed a five-minute kneeing major in the first period.

WHL Opening Week: The Cougars open their 2018-19 WHL regular season next weekend in Victoria against the Royals. It’s a weekend double-header, as the Cougars and Royals face-off on Friday, September 21, and Saturday, September 22; both games are a 7:05 pm.

Attendance:1,449

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