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Cougars drop 6-4 decision to Giants

Rob Wilton photo

The Prince George Cougars will have to wait at least one more night for their first win on the new season, after a 6-4 loss to the Vancouver Giants Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

It was a very similar storyline to the team’s home opener last Saturday against Kamloops, as they found themselves down by two after the first period Friday, only to rally and come back in the middle frame. In the end, they came up just short in the third period.

“It was very similar to last Saturday’s come from a positive standpoint and for addressing areas of improvement,” said associate coach Josh Dixon. “The positives are we score first, score four goals again, get 36 shots on net, and show we can claw back in games. On the flipside, we need to eliminate those stretches in games where we get outworked, give up goals in bunches and dig ourselves a hole to try and get out of.”

Carter MacAdams, who grew up playing for the Langley Minor Hockey Association Eagles, opened the scoring midway through the first period at 11:15. However, the Giants, playing in front of over 2,600 fans in their Home Opener, stormed back.

Adam Hall, Justin Sourdif, and Ty Thorpe scored three unanswered goals in the final six and half minutes of the opening frame to put Vancouver up 3-1 after 20-minutes.

Prince George got to work in the second period, as Kyren Gronick made it a one-goal game just 75 seconds into the frame. Gronick finished off a three-way passing play between himself, Riley Heidt, and Craig Armstrong. Then, Hudson Thornton tied it at 7:25 after his wrist-shot from the left-wing deflected off a stick and beat Giants’ starter Jesper Vikman.

Just like they did in the first, the Giants responded with three-straight from the tail end of the second through to the late stages of the third period. Rookie forward Ethan Semeniuk put Vancouver back on top, 4-3, at 12:31 of the middle frame. Then, in the third, Adam Hall and Justin Lies scored to give the Giants their biggest lead of the night at 6-3. Hall’s second of the night turned out to be the game-winner, as he had Sourdif’s pass and or shot go off his back and in at 5:05.

Jonny Hooker pulled the Cougars within two, as he scored his second of the season at 19:20 of the third to make it 6-4.

Twenty-year-old Taylor Gauthier made his first start of the season and surrendered six goals on 35 shots. Sixteen-year-old defenceman Bauer Dumanski made his WHL debut Friday. Defenceman Jaren Brinson dressed in his first game of the season. Ty Young, Majid Kaddoura, Aiden Reeves, Mike Svenson, and Blake Eastman (injury) were scratched.

NEXT GAME: The Cougars (0-2-0-0) head to Kamloops to face the Blazers (1-0-0-0) on Saturday night; the puck drops at 7:00 pm. Fans can watch the game on WHL Live or listen on 94.3 The GOAT.

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