Cougars face Americans tonight

The end is in sight.

Two more road games and the Prince George Cougars can head home for an extended stay playing in familiar surroundings. Their marathon six-week, 11 -game road trip is nearly in the rear-view mirror.

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But first they have to take aim at the Tri-City Americans, their opponents tonight in Kennewick, Wash.

Coming off a 2-1 shootout win over the Kelowna Rockets Friday night in Kelowna, the Cougars have to be feeling better about themselves after losing seven of their previous eight games on the current trip.

They'll have to be sharp to defeat an Americans team that's won six of its last 10, going 6-3-0-1 over that span. The Americans (20-14-1-1) are coming off a weekend split with the U.S. Division-leading Everett Silvertips. They beat the 'Tips 3-2 at home on Friday and lost the rematch in Everett 4-1 on Saturday.

Cougars centre Ilijah Colina remains sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury while defenceman Cole Moberg is close to returning after missing the Kelowna game with a lower-body injury. Moberg has seven goals and is tied with Josh Maser for second in team scoring with 21 points.

The Americans will be without blueliners Riley Bruce (lower-body) and Jarod Newell (lower-body), as well as forward Blake Stevenson (upper-body).

The Cougars will be in Spokane to face the Chiefs (24-13-2-2, third in U.S. Division) on Wednesday. On Saturday the Chiefs welcomed the return of centre Jarret Anderson-Dolan and defenceman Ty Smith, who returned from playing for Canada at the world junior championship. They helped the Chiefs defeat the Kootenay Ice 8-4 in Cranbrook.

The Cougars (13-21-1-2) are just four points behind the Kamloops Blazers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Cats are nine points behind Kelowna for third place in the B.C. Division.

They'll host the Rockets in back-to-back games at CN Centre Friday and Saturday.

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