That message was drilled into the heads of the Prince George Cougars during a season-opening weekend tour of the WHL U.S. Division and on Sunday they took it to heart, remaining disciplined in a 2-1 win over the host Tri-City Americans. After giving up five power-play goals on eight chances in a 9-2 loss Friday to the Portland Winterhawks and allowing the Everett Silvertips to score four times on 10 power-play chances in an 8-3 defeat Saturday the Cougars finally got their act together in Kennewick, Wash.
Newly-named Cougar captain Troy Bourke scored twice on the power play, once in the first period and once on a two-man advantage 14:05 into the second period. The Americans (0-2-0-0) got one of those back 13:55 into the third period, a shorthanded marker from Beau McCue, and the Cougars (1-2-0-0) survived a last-minute Tri-City power play with goalie Eric Comrie on the bench for the extra skater to claim their first win of the season.
Ty Edmonds made 21 saves and was sharp from the start while earning the first win of his WHL career as the starting goalie. Marc McNulty turned in a strong effort on the Cats blueline picking up two assists and now leads the Cougars with four points in three games.
Its tough for a young goalie to get his first start on the broad like this, especially in a building like Tri-Cities, its always tough to play in here and Ty was up for the challenge, said Cougars assistant coach Jason Becker. He had a lot of help in front of him too. It was a great 20-man effort we had tonight for 60 minutes which was the big difference from the previous two games this weekend.
Saturday in Everett, Joshua Winquist notched a hat trick and Dawson Leedahl and Manraj Hayer each scored twice to power the Silvertips. Klarc Wilson collected his second and third goals of the season and Slovakian import David Soltes scored his first in the WHL to account for the Cougars' scoring. Shots were 42-32 in Everett's favour. Cats starter Brett Zarowny was replaced by Edmonds early in the second period after allowing two quick goals that put the Silvertips ahead 4-2.
Cougars winger Zach Pochiro served the second game of a two-game suspension for his charging major penalty that led to his ejection in Friday's game, 6:41 into the third period. Pochiro had just returned to the Cats Friday from the St. Louis Blues' training camp.