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A not-so-sweet 16 for the Prince George Cougars

WHL’s best-in-the-west downs Cats 4-1 in Family Day match-up

If the Prince George Cougars had a game plan Monday afternoon (Feb. 18), they appeared to not have executed it properly against one of the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) top teams.

The Everett Silvertips were given plenty of opportunities in the offensive zone, which included 23 shots on goal in the second period alone, taking care of the Cougars by a score of 4-1 for their 16th consecutive loss.

While they won’t officially get there, the setback puts Prince George halfway to the franchise’s worst single-season losing streak in history going back to the then Victoria Cougars’ 1989-90 season.

That team lost 32 games in a row between Nov. 22, 1989, and Feb. 11, 1990.

The current Cougars have not won a game since Jan. 12 at the CN Centre, when they shut out the Kelowna Rockets, 4-0.

Isaiah DiLaura got the start in goal for the Cougars for the Family Day game, his 19th of the year, surrendering four goals on 38 shots.

The first two tallies of the contest came from Everett, both on power-plays in the second period after the Cougars recorded four penalties in a span of 3:59.

Prince George forward Tyson Upper lit the only lamp for the home team with less than three minutes left in the middle frame, his fifth of the season and second in as many games.

Cougars captain Josh Curtis and linemate Jackson Leppard provided the helpers.

The ‘Tips didn’t take long to respond however, regaining the two-goal advantage just 39 seconds later.

Everett hammered the final nail in the coffin two minutes into the third period and Prince George was unable to venture a comeback.

“This game was a mixed bag,” said General Manager and interim Head Coach Mark Lamb in a news release. “I liked a few things, but I also thought we took a few steps back in a couple of areas. Our preparation wasn’t the same as it was against Victoria and our patience wasn’t there. We need to be more engaged.”

Lamb is still searching for his first win as Prince George's temporary bench boss, losing his fifth straight since taking over on Feb. 8.

The Silvertips are holding on to their title as the best team in the WHL’s Western Conference with a record of 40-14-1-2, while the Cougars drop to 16-34-4-3 for last place.

Prince George will play their fourth game in five days tomorrow night (Feb. 19), closing out the doubleheader against Everett on home ice starting at 7 p.m.

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