The Prince George Cougars had to settle for a split of their midweek doubleheader with the Vancouver Giants after suffering a 5-3 setback Wednesday at the CN Centre.
Special teams were a key factor for the visitors, as the Giants scored three times on the power-play, en route to their third win in four games against the Cougars.
Craig Armstrong, Bauer Dumanski, and Caden Brown scored in a losing cause for Prince George. Dumanski’s goal was his first in the WHL. Brown also had an assist and was named the game’s third star.
Adam Hall had a pair of power-play goals for the Giants and Justin Sourdif, who missed Tuesday’s game, marked his return to the line-up with three assists. Defenceman Alex Cotton scored his first goal as a Giant and chipped in with a helper too.
Vancouver went up 2-0 midway through the first period on goals by Cotton and Ty Halaburda. Halaburda opened the scoring on the power-play at 11:12 and then just over a minute later, Cotton doubled the visitors lead at 12:35.
Armstrong cut the two-goal deficit in half late in the opening frame, as he scored on a partial breakaway with less than three-minutes left. Armstrong shrugged off the defenceman and snapped the puck underneath the goalie’s pad to make it 2-1 at 17:53.
In the second, the Giants went back up by two as Connor Horning banged in a loose puck during a delayed penalty at 3:46 to make it 3-1.
Prince George punched back, as Brown scored his second goal of the season, and first at home, at 6:06 to make it 3-2. Soon after that goal the Cougars ran into penalty trouble, and it proved costly.
17-seconds after Brown made it a one-goal game, the Cougars were hit with a five-minute major penalty. On that extended man-advantage, the Giants went on to score twice.
Adam Hall scored his two goals in a span of 1:46 to put the Giants up by three. First, Hall made it a 4-2 game at 6:58 on a wrist shot from the slot. Then, he put Vancouver up 5-2 at 8:44 when he deflected the puck on a shot from the blue line.
Dumanski replied for Prince George to make it 5-3 midway through the second. The 16-year-old rookie scored his first goal in the WHL at 12:11 to make it a two-goal game. His shot from the top of the zone went post and in.
After the two teams combined for five goals on 23 shots in the middle frame, there was no scoring in the third period.
Game Notes: Forward Kyren Gronick left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. The Giants three power-play goals was a season high allowed by Prince George. Blake Eastman fought Vancouver’s Nicco Camazzola in the second period.