The Prince George Cougars (22-37-3-1) picked up a valuable point in their 4-3 overtime loss to the visiting Kamloops Blazers, Sunday at the CN Centre.
With the single point, the Cougars move in the time being into sole possession of eighth in the Western Conference; one point ahead of the Spokane Chiefs. The Chiefs were in action Sunday in Langley against the Vancouver Giants.
“That’s a point that could potentially put us in the playoffs. I thought that was a real gutsy effort by our team and I’m very proud of them,” said Cougars’ General Manager & Head Coach Mark Lamb.
Connor Bowie, Riley Heidt, and Jonny Hooker all scored in the first period for Prince George, who led 3-1 after 20 minutes. Sunday was a stark contrast to their previous two first periods, where they surrendered four and five goals to Kamloops and Kelowna respectively.
Ty Young was terrific in net for the Cougars, as the 17-year-old stopped 41 of 45 shots and was named the game’s first star.
Bowie got the Cougars out to a 1-0 lead just 36 seconds into the game, as he redirected Caden Brown’s shot from the slot past Garand. Then, Heidt pounced off a turnover down low and scored on his own rebound to put Prince George ahead 2-0 four and a half minutes into the game.
Logan Stankoven cut into the deficit for Kamloops, as he scored at 12:26 to make it 2-1.
The Captain put the Cougars back up by two late in the opening frame with his team-leading eighth power play goal. Hooker got enough of Jonas Brøndberg’s shot from up top to sneak it underneath the goalie’s arm at 17:08.
Kamloops punched back in the second period, as Ethan Brandwood and Reese Belton scored four minutes apart to tie the game 3-3. Brandwood’s shot went off a Cougar’s skate at 2:39 and Belton muscled his shot in on the stick side at 6:46.
After a scoreless third period, the Blazers capitalized on a power play in overtime to pick up the extra point. Daylan Kuefler poked in a loose puck at the side of the net, 56 seconds into the extra frame, as Kamloops earned the come-from-behind win.
Dylan Garand was sharp in net as well, as the Blazers’ netminder repelled 28 of 31 shots steered his way.
With his goal Sunday, Riley Heidt now has 14 points (7G-7A) in 11 games against Kamloops. With his assist, Keaton Dowhaniuk extended his point streak to four games. He has five assists over that span. Prince George is now 2-7-1-1 in 11 games against the Blazers this season.
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