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Cougars triumph over Kelowna Rockets with a dominant 5-2 victory


Prince George Cougars

The Prince George Cougars roared back to the winning column, breaking their two-game losing streak with an impressive 5-2 triumph over the Kelowna Rockets at the CN Centre on Friday.

In a spectacular performance, the trio of Borya Valis, Carlin Dezainde, and Zac Funk showcased their prowess, collectively contributing eight points to secure the victory. Ty Young, with 25 saves, earned his 16th win in goal, while Dezainde celebrated his first career WHL hat-trick.

The game opened with an explosive start as Zac Funk and Borya Valis set up Carlin Dezainde at 2:49, propelling the Cats to an early lead. The dominant play prompted Kelowna Rockets Head Coach Kris Mallette to call a timeout, a move that proved effective as the Rockets quickly responded with two goals. Andrew Cristall netted his 25th goal of the season at 4:42, extending his point streak to 20, followed by Hiroki Gojsic at 6:11, giving Kelowna a 2-1 lead. Oren Shtrom equalized for the Cougars at 13:21, leveling the score at two after the first period.

The second period saw the Cougars swiftly regaining the lead, with Carlin Dezainde securing his second goal of the game at 2:28. On a power-play at 6:03, Hudson Thornton blasted a shot from the blue-line past Jari Kykkanen, extending the lead to 4-2. The Cougars dominated the period with a 12-5 shot advantage, maintaining a 4-2 lead.

In the final period, the Cougars maintained control, and Carlin Dezainde completed his hat trick at 5:17, assisted by Borya Valis. The decisive goal brought the final score to 5-2, solidifying the Cougars’ record at 29-12-0-0 for the season. The team looks to continue their success as they conclude the weekend set against the Rockets Saturday at 6 p.m. at the CN Centre.

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