The Prince George Cougars rolled back into town -- with a winning record from a lengthy road trip.
When was the last time that could be said? Certainly not a winter ago, when the Cougars won 12 times in 72 gams and finished last-overall in the WHL and CHL.
The Cougars closed out a Central Division swing with a 2-1-1-0 record following a wild-west 8-7 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings on Monday. Dylan Wruck scored as time expired, beating Cougars goaltender James Priestner to the glove side, to provide the difference.
Brett Connolly and Charles Inglis had two goals each for the Cougars (3-4-0-1), who are one-quarter of the way to last season's win total. Martin Marincin, Nick Buonassisi and Sena Acolatse had the other Cougars goals, and James Dobrowolski had three assists.
Wruck, with two, Travis Ewanyk, with three, Michael St. Croix, Mike Piluso and Klarc Wilson handled the Edmonton scoring. St. Croix added three assists for a four-point night as the Oil Kings (5-2-0-0) outshot the Cougars 41-40.
On Saturday, the Cougars bolted to a 3-0 first-period lead in Medicine Hat and held on for a 5-3 victory. Connolly, recently-acquired defenceman Cody Carlson and Spencer Asuchak staked the Cats to the lead, and Asuchak followed a Wacey Hamilton goal in the second with his second of the night and sixth of the season. Inglis salted it away with an empty-net goal in the third after Tyler Pitlick and Vahe Zakaryan drew the Tigers within one.
The Cougars defeated the Kootenay Ice 6-3 in Cranbrook on Wednesday, then lost 4-1 in Lethbridge on Friday.
Connolly, the sixth-overall selection by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the recent NHL draft, has a point in every game so far this season.
The Cats are home to the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday, then head to Kamloops to face the Blazers on Saturday before a three-game homestand that includes a date with the Brandon Wheat Kings and two outings against the Tri-City Americans.
n The Cougars got down to their three overage players by releasing goaltender Morgan Clark on the weekend, leaving Dobrowolski, Acolatse and Taylor Stefishen as the 20-year-olds. Priestner is the only goaltender on the active roster, meaning a move will have to be made this week to acquire a netminder or to bring up one of two 16-year-old prospects, Tyler Santos or Devon Fordyce, for good.