BY FRASER RODGERS
Prince George Cougars
The Prince George Cougars hung in with the Western Conference’s best for over 40-minutes, but a third period push was the difference in the Everett Silvertips’ 4-1-win Tuesday at the CN Centre.
“I liked a lot of our game tonight. Scoring chance wise it was close, even with how the shots ended up,” said General Manager & Interim Head Coach Mark Lamb. “Once again, it’s the same type of things that hinder this team. We get into the third period and we needed to stay patient, keeping playing hard but the mistakes seem to overflow into a goal. It’s a hard lesson but it’s something we need to get over.”
Tied 1-1 through two periods, the Silvertips scored three-straight over the final 20-minutes. Bryce Kindopp scored the game winner just shy of the four-minute mark and then Reece Vitelli sealed the road win with two goals, including an empty-netter, just 52-seconds part. Dustin Wolf picked up the win with a tidy 16-save effort.
The Cougars got off to a good start, as Ethan Browne put them ahead 1-0 nearly six-minutes into the first period. Browne scoring his ninth of the season on a Cougars’ five-on-three power-play, as he went short-side over Wolf’s glove. That was the only offense the Cougars could muster against the WHL’s best defensive team. The Cougars were held to single-digit shot totals in each of the three periods
Taylor Gauthier was sharp in the Cougars’ crease, despite the loss, as he turned aside 33-shots and was named the game’s second star. Gauthier’s best work was late in the first period, with his team still up 1-0, as he flashed the leather, getting his glove out on Zack Andrusiak’s chance right in front of the net.
The Cougars are winless in three-games against the Silvertips this season and the two teams meet against Saturday in Everett.The Silvertips now have a four-point cushion on the Vancouver Giants for top spot in the Western Conference. The Cougars are now winless in 17-games.
Cougars [1-0] Ethan Browne (9) from Cole Moberg and Ryan Schoettler 5:56 PP
Silvertips [1-1] Zack Andrusiak (36) from Bryce Kindopp and Wyatte Wylie 17:26
Silvertips [2-1] Bryce Kindopp (34) from Gage Gonçalves and Ian Walker 3:46
Silvertips [3-1] Reece Vitelli (8) from Jake Christiansen and Robbie Holmes 17:36
Silvertips [4-1] Reece Vitelli (9) from Robbie Holmes and Artyom Minulin 18:28 EN
Cougars- Taylor Gauthier (Loss) 33/36 59:49
Silvertips- Dustin Wolf (Win) 16/17 60:00
UP NEXT: The Cougars (16-35-4-3) hit the road for two games on the weekend, starting Friday, February 22nd against the Kamloops Blazers. Fans can listen to the game on 94.3 The GOAT, or they can watch online via WHL Live.