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Cougars fall a goal short, again, in set to Kelowna

James Doyle photo

The Prince George Cougars (19-27-2-1) fell a goal short again on Saturday, losing 3-2 for the second straight night to the Kelowna Rockets (28-12-1-3) at the CN Centre.

Kelowna swept the weekend doubleheader and have won all four games in Prince George this season.

Connor Bowie and Hudson Thornton scored for the Cougars. Tyler Brennan was very good in defeat, as he made 35 saves and was named the games’ third star.

Prince George is now one point up on the Vancouver Giants for third in the B.C. Division, after the Giants 4-3 overtime win in Kamloops Saturday.

GAME RECAP

The Rockets’ Turn McMillen opened the scoring 5:56 into the first period. McMillen’s pass on a two-on-one rush went off the leg of a Cougars’ defencemen and under the pad of Brennan. McMillen was credited with his seventh goal.

Prince George tied it 1-1 midway through the second period on the power play. It wasn’t the most conventional goal, as Connor Bowie, after video review, was awarded his 10th of the season at 8:32. Bowie tipped a pass from Koehn Ziemmer towards the net, but Rockets’ goaltender Talyn Boyko pushed the net off its pegs after pushing across to make a pad stop. The Video Goal Judge deemed the puck would have gone in if the net was in its proper place.

Kelowna went back ahead in the open moments of the third period. Defenceman Jake Lee scored on a power play just 27 seconds into the final frame to put the Rockets up 2-1. Gabriel Szturc then made it 3-1 after his backhand went off both posts and past Brennan at 12:49.

Thornton put the Cougars within one goal late in regulation. With Brennan on the bench for the extra skater, Thornton’s point shot found its way through traffic and past Boyko at 17:31. Thornton’s 10th made it 3-2.

The Cougars had one more crack at tying the game inside the final minute. With Boyko lying flat on his back and without his stick, the puck dribbled across the crease, but the Cougars were unable to jam it in. The puck seemed to hit Boyko’s discarded stick in the crease and stayed out.

NOTES

The Cougars have now lost their last five home games, as their last win at the CN Centre was January 19th against Victoria. With his goal Saturday, Hudson Thornton now has three points (1g-2a) in his last three games. Connor Bowie’s goal was his first in seven games and he is just two goals back of his career high of 12 set during the 2019-20 season.

 

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