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Prince George Cougars’ comeback falls short in overtime

Point earned against Vancouver Wednesday night in 11th consecutive loss

A valiant effort, spoiled.

This may be the phrase to describe the Prince George Cougars Wednesday night after climbing out of a 0-3 hole against the Vancouver Giants.

After potting the tying marker mid-way through the final frame, the BC Division leaders got the 4-3 win less than a minute into overtime at the CN Centre.

The loss pins the 11th in a row for Prince George, who are now one loss away from matching 2014-15’s worst streak of 12.

Taylor Gauthier was between the pipes for Prince George for the 40th time this season and made many saves in the second half of the contest to aid the Cougars in their comeback attempt.

He made 26 saves on 30 shots, while Vancouver’s David Tendeck stopped 28 of 31.

The scoring brigade that was the second period started with the Giants netting three goals less than six minutes apart.

That was followed by back-to-back power-play goals by the Cats in a span of four minutes, including one with 10 seconds left in the frame.

Vladislav Mikhalchuk and Josh Maser each got their 20th tallies of the 2018-19 season, while extending Prince George’s special team’s streak to six power-play goals in five consecutive games.

Cougars-Giants-Perepeluk-lineup goal 2019 homeReid Perepeluk (#26) celebrates a goal with teammates against the Vancouver Giants at the CN Centre (via Prince George Cougars/James Doyle Photography)

Reid Perepeluk got the monkey off his back after 38 games, scoring his first of the season unassisted and tying it up at 3-3 in the third period.

The 18-year-old was out for a month (Dec. 16 - Jan. 19) due to an illness that cost him to lose 25 pounds.

A point gets the Cougars up to 38 on the season with a record of 16-30-4-2, putting them eight back of the second wild-card playoff spot.

The possible upside going into their weekend road trip is that they start in Kelowna, a team Prince George has had success against this year.

Thus far, they’ve played each other eight times in the nine-game season series; the Cats have prevailed six times against the Rockets.

A win at the Prospera Centre Friday night could not only help the team in the playoff race, but could add on to the confidence they gained tonight in coming so close to bringing down the Giants.

Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. (Feb. 8), while Sunday’s match in Vancouver goes for 2 p.m. (Feb. 10).