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Cougars pick up first win against the Blazers

Allen Douglas photo

The Prince George Cougars picked up their first win against the Kamloops Blazers in the RE/MAX Hub with a 5-1 victory Wednesday at the Sandman Centre.

The Cougars (6-7-1-1) have now won back-to-back games and sit alone in third in the B.C. Division. Wednesday was the Cougars first win against the Blazers this season, as they were winless in their previous four meetings.

Tyson Upper, Ethan Samson, Keaton Dowhaniuk, Connor Bowie, and Koehn Ziemmer all scored in the win. It was a career night for Dowhaniuk, as the 16-year-old defenceman not only scored a short-handed goal but finished with four points (1-3-4). He was also named the first start.

Taylor Gauthier stopped 37 of 38 shots as he picked up his fourth win of the season. Gauthier was excellent early, stopping all 17 shots he faced in the first period. He kicked out another 14 in the second and six of seven in the third period.

It was a strong special teams showing, as Dowhaniuk scored the team’s fourth short-handed goal this season and the Cougars also picked up a power-play marker.

The Blazers’ Josh Pillar spoiled Gauthier’s shutout bid in the third period, as he scored on the power-play early in the final frame. Blazers’ rookie goaltender Dylan Ernst was tagged with the loss after he surrendered five goals on 34 shots.

Prince George led 1-0 through 20-mintues on a goal from Upper and took a 3-0 lead into the second intermission after Samson and Dowhaniuk scored in the middle frame. Bowie and Ziemmer tacked on two more goals in the third period to seal the victory.

The Cougars look for their third-straight win Friday, April 30th, when they host the Victoria Royals at the Sandman Centre.

GAME SUMMARY

Scoring

 Cougars- Upper, Samson, Dowhaniuk (SH), Bowie, Ziemmer (PP)

Blazers- Pillar

Goaltending

Cougars- Taylor Gauthier, 60:00, 37 saves, 38 shots

Blazers- Dylan Ernst, 60:00, 29 saves, 34 shots

Power-Play 

Cougars- 1/2

Blazers- 1/4

Shots:

Cougars- 34

Blazers- 38

Three Stars: 1) Keaton Dowhaniuk 2) Tyson Upper 3) Ethan Samson

Game Notes: Forwards Brendan Boyle and Kyren Gronick did not play due to injury. Wednesday was the Cougars’ first win against the Blazers since January 25th, 2020. Dowhaniuk and Samson each have four points (1-3-4) in five games against the Blazers. The Cougars improved their “home” record to 3-3-1-1.


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