The Prince George Cougars earned a weekend sweep over the Vancouver Giants after a dramatic 4-3 overtime win at the CN Centre on Fan Appreciation Night.
Cole Moberg scored the overtime winner 1:50 into the extra frame as he helped the Cougars sweep the Vancouver Giants in their weekend doubleheader and extend their win streak to three games.
Josh Maser, Filip Koffer, and Jack Sander also scored for the Cougars who won their final three home games over the last four days. Taylor Gauthier earned his 16th win, which is a new career high, after stopping 40 of 43 shots.
Bowen Byram scored twice for Vancouver and Justin Sourdif added a power-play marker, as the Giants rallied from 3-0 down to force overtime. Drew Sim, who made his first career start Saturday, was tagged with the loss after stopping 26 of 29 shots.
Prince George came out of the blocks running, as they scored twice on 18 shots in the opening 20 minutes. Josh Maser, in his last regular season home game, opened the scoring six and a half minutes into the game. Right off a face-off, Maser wired a wrist shot over Sim’s glove to make it 1-0 at 6:33. Maser’s 29th of the season and fourth goal of the weekend.
Koffer doubled the Cougars’ lead not even three minutes later. Ethan Browne forced a turnover just outside the Giants’ zone and came in on a two-on-one rush. Browne showed excellent patience to spot the streaking Koffer for the cross-ice tap in at 9:14.
Sander added to the Cougars’ lead early in the middle frame. After the Giants’ goaltender had a mishap playing the puck at the side of his net, it was Sander capitalizing on the gaffe for his fourth at 4:24. Sander grabbed the loose puck and spun and scored from the face-off dot to make it 3-0.
The Giants put together a min rally in the back half of the second period. First, Sourdif scored on the power-play to make it 3-1 at 12:55, then Byram scored his first of two on the night with three seconds left in the period to make it 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Vancouver pressed in the third period, as they outshot Prince George 19-4 and it was Byram getting the equalizer inside the final two minutes of regulation. With the Giants’ net empty in favour of the extra skater, it was Byram scoring with just 1:25 left on the clock to force overtime. The Giants’ defenceman managed to find just enough room to squeeze the puck past Gauthier on the stick side. After going down 3-0 in the first 24 minutes of the game, the Giants did well to recover and force overtime.
The Cougars regrouped in the extra frame and it was Moberg scoring his 13th goal of the season to earn the critical extra point for Prince George. Moberg picked up the puck from the neutral zone and bolted down the left wing, blowing by the defender before firing the puck over the goalie’s glove.
Game Notes: Josh Maser finished the weekend with four goals and five points in two games against the Giants. Taylor Gauthier stopped 78 of 85 shots over the two nights and earned his 16th win of the season, which is a new career high. The Cougars improved their overtime record to 3-4 and are now 9-16-2-3 against the B.C. Division.
The Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Everett Silvertips 5-2 Saturday to remain seven points up on the Cougars for the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference.
Next Up: The Cougars (20-34-4-4) take to the road for the remaining six games of the regular season schedule. The road trip starts against the Victoria Royals on Friday, March 13th.
Cougars – 0/1
Giants – 1/3
Cougars – 30
Giants – 43
Three Stars: 1) Josh Maser 2) Ryan Schoettler 3) Vladislav Mikhalchuk