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Third period surge leads Blazers past Cougars

The Prince George Cougars are now winless in three games after a 4-1 setback to the Kamloops Blazers Thursday at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.

The Cougars (4-6-1-1) led 1-0 after 20 minutes and carried that lead into the final minute of the second period, before the Blazers (9-2-0-0) tied it. Kamloops went on to score three more times in the third period for their fourth win against Prince George this season.

Connor Bowie scored the Cougars’ lone goal with just 30-seconds left in the opening period. Bowie redirected Ethan Samson’s point-shot in for his fifth goal. Taylor Gauthier was tagged with the loss after turning aside 27 of 31 shots. The Cougars power-play went 0-4, the penalty-kill was 1-2.

Inaki Baragano scored in the second for Kamloops and Matthew Seminoff, Reese Belton, and Connor Zary all scored third period goals. Goaltender Dylan Garand was excellent in the Blazers’ net, as he made 43 saves for first star honours. Garand was at his best in the second period.

Prince George arguably played their best period of season in the middle frame. The Cougars peppered the Blazers’ net, as they outshot Kamloops 21-6. Despite the heavy shot differential, the Cougars couldn’t double their lead. That proved to be costly.

Baragano made it 1-1 with 41 seconds left in the middle stanza after a bit of puck luck. The puck deflected out to Baragano in the slot, and he wired it into an open net after it appeared Taylor Gauthier lost his footing in the crease.

From there, the Blazers went on to score three more times in the third period to pick up their second-straight win. The Cougars are now winless in four games (0-4-0-0) against the Blazers.

GAME SUMMARY

Scoring

Cougars- Connor Bowie

Blazers- Inaki Baragano, Matthew Seminoff, Reese Belton, Connor Zary (PP)

Goaltending

Cougars- Taylor Gauthier, 60:00, 27 saves, 31 shots

Blazers- Dylan Garand, 60:00, 43 saves, 44 shots

Power-Play

Cougars- 0/4

Blazers- 1/2

Shots:

Cougars: 44

Blazers: 31

Three Stars: 1) Dylan Garand 2) Connor Zary 3) Koehn Ziemmer

Game Notes: The Cougars scored first for just the second time in 12 games this season. The Cougars’ 44 shots were one off their season high. Prince George registered 45 shots on net against the Royals on April 6. Riley Heidt had his three-game point streak ended in the loss. He had four points (1-3-4) in his previous three games.

Next Game: Friday, April 23 at the Kelowna Rockets; puck drop is 7:05 p.m.


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