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Overtime eludes Prince George Cougars’ late-game efforts against Spokane

Cats salvage single point in 4-3 (OT) loss to Chiefs

Three third-period goals brought the Prince George Cougars back in the game against one of the top 10 teams in the Western Hockey League (WHL).

The Spokane Chiefs skated fast early Tuesday night (Feb. 26) at the CN Centre and got the added hand on a delayed penalty call with a minute left in the extra frame, beating the Cats by a score of 4-3 (OT).

The visitors got the two points, but Prince George is awarded a point as well for getting to overtime.

“I’m starting to see a little belief in what we’re doing," said General Manager and Interim Head Coach Mark Lamb in a release, "and you can see it on the bench when the guys start to feel it. They’re saying the right things and you see they’re energy and that’s what you need to have."

Goaltender Taylor Gauthier made 30 saves on 33 shots in his 48th start of the 2018-19 season; Chiefs’ netminder Reece Klassen stopped 25 of 28 on the other side of the rink.

This is the 11th consecutive home loss for Prince George, a new franchise record, and the second in a row since breaking their 17-game losing streak in Kamloops on Friday (Feb. 22).

Spokane scored the opening goal of the contest, which was immediately followed by an uneventful second period.

Four minutes after Cougars’ forward Jackson Leppard tied it up early in the third stanza, defenceman Rhett Rhinehart gave the home team a promising 2-1 lead on a power-play; he would record two points on the night.

That would last for almost four minutes until the Chiefs regained the one-goal advantage after potting two more pucks within five minutes of each other.

Houston, B.C. native and Prince George's leading goal-scorer Josh Maser tallied his 25th of the year with 73 seconds left to tie it up and send Spokane into overtime.

Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who was a member of Team Canada at the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championships, netted the game-winning goal.

The Cougars’ record now reads 17-36-5-3 (42 points) with seven games left (four at home), remaining in last place in the B.C. Division and the WHL’s Western Conference.

The rematch between Prince George and Spokane goes for tonight (Feb. 27), 7 p.m. at the CN Centre.