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Prince George Cougars’ comeback short after second-period collapse against Medicine Hat

Five unanswered goals enough to get the Tigers out of reach
Cougars-Tigers-Colina 2019 home
Prince George Cougars' Ilijah Colina in action against the Medicine Hat Tigers (via Chuck Chin Photography)

Up and down, up and down.

That could describe the Prince George Cougars’ mid-week match-up with the Medicine Hat Tigers after getting to a lead, coming up short on penalty kills and then trying to muster a third-period, three-goal comeback only to get the door shut while on the front step.

The Cats lost to their Western Hockey League (WHL) Central Division opponents by a score of 5-4 at the CN Centre, downing their record to 4-12-0-1.

This is despite an impressive performance by alternate captain Cole Moberg who accumulated three points in the contest, including two power-play goals.

Goaltender Taylor Gauthier returned to his cage Wednesday night (Nov. 7) after coming off the injured list for two games.

He stopped 24 of 29 shots from Medicine Hat, but that included two shutout periods turning away 11 in the opening frame and six in the third.

Mitch Kohner got things started with a beauty of a goal 97 seconds in, ripping one over the right shoulder of Tigers’ netminder Garin Bjorkund bar-down from the goal line.

The assists came from Moberg and Connor Bowie and Prince George’s lead remained the same until Moberg got his first of the evening on a man-advantage 51 ticks into the second period.

His rocket from the blue-line for the 2-0 cushion came from the helping hands of Ryan Schoettler and newly-appointed captain Josh Maser.

From there, the visiting Tigers were able to register five unanswered goals, two of which came on power-plays and both by their captain, James Hamblin, between 5:41 and 14:25 of the same frame.

The Cougars were likely given a swift kick in the dressing room during the second intermission, finding themselves down 5-2 with 20 minutes left.

They showed some promise by scoring early as Moberg potted his third of the season on a one-timer to the open net with moments left in a delay-of-game penalty to Medicine Hat.

Ethan Browne and Schoettler contributed to the Chicago Blackhawks prospect’s second on the evening over two minutes in.

Another defenceman got on the board and within a goal’s reach of a tie game.

Jack Sander earned his second of the season, sliding towards the boards off a one-timer of his own to make it 5-4 with eight minutes remaining.

Medicine Hat’s advantage would hold strong to that final score even with Gauthier getting sent to the bench with 47 seconds left.

Prince George’s struggles on home ice continue with a record of 2-7, but they’re hoping to turn the tables this Remembrance Day long weekend.

The Victoria Royals are in the northern capital for the first time this 2019-20 season on Friday (Nov. 8) and Saturday (Nov. 9), both with 7 p.m. puck-drops.

Friday’s contest will likely see the return of last year’s team scoring-champion Vladislav Mikhalchuk, who is coming back to the Cougars after playing in the KHL.

As a result, Prince George also traded Matej Toman Wednesday afternoon to the Saskatoon Blades for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 WHL Bantam Draft.