The Prince George Cougars (17-19-1-1) nearly pulled off the unthinkable Saturday, falling just a goal short in their 3-2 loss to the Kamloops Blazers (24-11-1-0) at the Sandman Centre.
Prince George, who started the game with just 15 skaters, put in a hard-fought effort against the top team in the B.C. Division, but in the end, they ran out of gas.
The Cougars now prepare for a six-game U.S. Division road trip that starts next Friday in Portland.
Ty Young was brilliant in the Cougars’ crease. The 17-year-old nearly stole two points for Prince George, as he stopped 45 of 48 shots and was named the game’s second star. Young stopped 17 shots in the first period alone.
After trailing 1-0 through 20 minutes, the Cougars got goals from Ethan Samson (power play) and Cayden Glover in the second period, as they led 2-1 after two periods. Glover scoring his first goal as a Cougar.
The Blazers pressed on the gas in the third period and scored twice in 38-seconds to quickly regain the lead. Kamloops never looked back after that.
Prince George started the game with 15 skaters but defenceman Jonas Brøndberg left the game early in the first period and did not return. The Cougars played much of the game with five defencemen and nine forwards.
Hunter Laing, the Cougars’ second-round pick in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft, made his WHL debut Saturday. Laing nearly scored in his first game but was robbed by the Blazers’ Dylan Garand in the second period.