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Cougars top Blazers on the road; win streak hits five

Blake Eastman scores on this set up. Allen Douglas photo

The Prince George Cougars win streak has reached five. The Cougars have won five-straight after s 5-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers at the Sandman Centre Friday.

The Cougars have won six of their last seven games to move within a point of the Vancouver Giants, tomorrow’s opponent, for third place in the B.C. Division.

Craig Armstrong scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season early in the third period to break a 2-2 deadlock. Armstrong finished with two points and was named the game’s first star.

Riley Heidt and Blake Eastman eached had a goal and an assist. Eastman scored in the second period and Heidt, along with Ethan Samson, scored into an empty net in the third. Ryker Singer opened the scoring in the first period.

Taylor Gauthier earned his seventh win of the season as stopped 38 of 40 shots, including all 14 he faced in the third period.

“I really think this is our biggest win of the season thus far. It wasn’t a game where we held on or got lucky with a few bounces. I believe we were full value for the win and really looked like a team getting the job done. Biggest team effort of the year,” said Cougars’ Associate Coach Josh Dixon.

“There were times through this streak where we weren’t sharp but tonight didn’t feel like that. Tonight, was a smart, simple, structured road game. As complete of win certainly on the road, and as complete of win as we have had all year,” commented Dixon.

Friday was the Cougars’ second win in as many games against the Blazers, as Prince George beat Kamloops 3-2 back at the CN Centre on December 11th.

Singer opened the scoring late in the first period for Prince George. The 16-year-old scored his fourth at 17:37 to make it 1-0. It looked as though the Cougars were going to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission, but the Blazers had other ideas.

Caedan Bankier tied the game 1-1 when he snuck the puck under Gauthier’s pad with just three seconds left in the period.

Prince George retook the lead in the second after Blake Eastman scored his seventh at 3:29. Jonny Hooker hustled over to the puck on the boards, spun, and fired a pass out front to Eastman who redirected it in.

Connor Levis brought the Blazers back level, again, as he buried a rebound on the power play at 13:08 to tie it 2-2.

Armstrong grabbed the lead back in the third period, as he scored on a breakaway after a great pass from inside the Cougars’ zone by Heidt. Armstrong managed to shrug off both defenders before slipping the puck underneath the goalie’s pad at 6:43.

Samson put the game out of reach with his empty net goal at 18:42 to make it 4-2, and Heidt finished off the scoring with another empty netter at 19:14.

Game Notes: The Cougars are now 5-8-0-0 on the road and 6-2-0-0 in the month of December. Taylor Gauthier is 4-0-0-0 in his last five appearances with a 2.34 goals-against average and .944 save percentage. Craig Armstrong has eight points (4g-4a) in his last eight games.

Next Game: Saturday, Dec. 18 at Vancouver Giants, 7 p.m.

 

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