Oil Kings Drop One to Cougars

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(ISN) – EDMONTON, ALTA. – The Edmonton Oil Kings found themselves down early on a couple of costly turnovers and never recovered.

The Oil Kings (24-24-4-2) dropped their third game in a row, opening their four-game road trip with a 4-2 loss to the Prince George Cougars (21-31-1-1) Friday night in Prince George.

“I thought Prince George did a good job of slowing down the neutral zone and really forced a lot of turnovers, and we were unwilling to establish any length to the rink. We were playing in a three-quarter sheet and it was mostly in our end. That wasn’t a style of play we could benefit from,” said Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton.

The Cougars opened the scoring 3:44 into the first period as Aaron Macklin broke in alone on Tristan Jarry and put Prince George up 1-0.

Dysin Mayo evened it up less than two minutes later as he broke into the Prince George zone and flipped a backhand past Ty Edmonds in the Cougars net.

The Cougars regained the lead later in the first period as Kody McDonald jumped on a turned over puck in the Edmonton zone and roofed a wrist shot to make it 2-1.

Jari Erricson added a pair of goals for the Cougars in the second period to extend the lead to 4-1 before Davis Koch potted a rebound on the power play 1:50 into the third period to make it a 4-2 game, but Edmonton could draw no closer.

“Certainly it was a very tentative start to the game and we backed ourselves into a corner heading into the third. We found a different level of intensity in the third, but just couldn’t claw back,” Hamilton explained.

Trista Jarry stopped 12 of 16 shots he faced in the Edmonton net. Patrick Dea made 11 saves in relief. Edmonds finished with 34 saves for the Cougars as Prince George snapped a 12-game losing streak.

Mayo and Edgars Kulda each had two-point nights for the Oil Kings.

Edmonton and Prince George will be back on the ice for a rematch at 8 p.m. Saturday night in Prince George.

“We need to regroup and I think we need to see some of our mistakes that we’re repeating. We need to challenge ourselves with our best hockey. When we’re tentative and we hold back, they’re not going to hold back against us,” Hamilton said.