It was a good start but disappointing finish for the Prince George Cougars in their final WHL preseason game.
The Cougars (3-2) wrapped up their five-game exhibition season with a 4-3 loss in a shootout in Kamloops to the Blazers (5-0) at the Interior Savings Centre in front of 2,757 fans. Colin Smith was the hero as he was the only one of six players to score in the skills competition.
Troy Bourke, Alex Forsberg and Daulton Siwak all failed to beat Blazers goaltender Cole Cheveldave in the shootout while Devon Fordyce stopped Brendan Ranford and Chase Souto.
The Cougars started the game with a pair of power plays with Chase Witala capitalizing on the second one with his third of the preseason to spot the visitors a 1-0 lead. Second-period goals by Siwak and Bourke had the Cats in front 3-0 after 40 minutes. Witala and Bourke each had two-point nights.
But the Blazers stormed back as Smith beat Fordyce with an even-strength goal before Prince George product Dylan Willick and JC Lipton scored power-play markers to tie the game. Formber Cariboo Cougars defenceman Josh Connolly had an assist on Lipon's tying goal with less than two minutes to play.
The Cougars are expected to make one or two more cuts before they begin the regular season next weekend in Everett.
Prince George will play its home opener Sept. 28-29 when the Seattle Thunderbirds visit as the two Western Conference non-playoff teams from last season look to get off to a good start to the new season.