BY FRASER RODGERS
Prince George Cougars
The Vancouver Giants spoiled the Prince George Cougars home opener on Friday, after picking up a 5-3 win at the CN Centre.
Vancouver’s Justin Sourdif broke a 3-3 tie early in the third period with a power-play goal, which stood up as the game-winner for the defending Western Conference champions. Tristen Nielsen, Seth Bafaro, Lukas Svejkovsky, and Jackson Shepard (empty net) also scored for the Giants. Trent Miner stopped 20 of 23 shots to pick up the win.
Tyson Upper scored his first two goals of the season, both coming just over three-minutes apart, late in the second period to erase a 3-1 deficit. Cole Moberg scored the Cougars’ first goal of the season, on the power-play, in the first period. Taylor Gauthier was tagged with the loss after surrendering four goals on 28 shots.
The Giants led 2-0 and 3-1 but the Cougars battled back, and it was Upper scoring twice to erase a two-goal deficit in the final minutes of the second. Upper made it 3-2 at 16:36 when he fooled Miner with a shot that ducked underneath the goalie’s arm from the left-wing. Then, with 11-seconds left on the clock, he slipped away from a defender at the side of the net and tipped Ryan Schoettler’s point-shot in on the short-side.
In the third, it was the Giants’ using their power-play to break the deadlock. Justin Sourdif came barreling down the right-wing, cut to the inside, and went upstairs over Gauthier’s shoulder at 4:54 for the game-winning goal. Jackson Shepard put the game on ice with an empty-net goal with just over a minute remaining.
Prince George goes for the weekend split tomorrow, when they face the Giants at the CN Centre; face-off is 7:00 pm. Single game tickets start at just $13, and there is also great pricing for seniors and youth as well. Tickets are on sale at the TicketsNorth by Treasure Cove Casino box office, or online at www.ticketsnorth.ca
Giants [1-0] Tristen Nielsen from Owen Hardy and Seth Bafaro 4:48
Giants [2-0] Seth Bafaro from Dylan Plouffe and Owen Hardy 15:20 (power-play)
Cougars [2-1] Cole Moberg from Josh Maser and Ryan Schoettler 16:11 (power-play)
Giants [3-1] Lukas Svejkovsky 10:50
Cougars [3-2] Tyson Upper from Jack Sander and Taylor Gauthier 16:36
Cougars [3-3] Tyson Upper from Ryan Schoettler 19:49
Giants [4-3] Justin Sourdif from Trent Miner 4:56 (power-play)
Giants [5-3] Jackson Sheppard from Milos Roman 18:53 (empty-net)
Three Stars: 1) Tyson Upper 2) Tristen Nielsen 3) Lukas Svejkovsky