PRINCE GEORGE, BC– The Prince George Cougars ended their four-game home stand in style, after their 4-2 win at the CN Centre Saturday.
Max Kryski broke a 2-2 tie midway through the third period, scoring his sixth goal of the season, and Josh Curtis added insurance goal just 16-seconds later, as the Cougars put to bed a three-game winless streak. Kryski’s game-winner earned him first star honours, as he scored for the third time in the last four games.
Jared Bethune and Austin Crossley also scored and Tavin Grant was solid in net, turning aside 28 of 30 shots for his 12th win; he was also named the second star.
The Cougars earned a weekend split with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, as they rebounded from Friday’s loss, and in the process, handing the Hurricanes their first regulation loss since January 6th.
Bethune opened the scoring three and a half minutes into the first and on the Cougars’ first power-play. Bethune grabbed the puck in the neutral zone, skated down the middle and hammered a slap-shot past Logan Flodell’s blocker for his 16th.
Lethbridge countered midway through the first period, scoring twice in 37-seconds to quickly grab a 2-1 lead. First, Kelti Jeri-Leon tied it up 1-1, when he went down the right-wing and forced a backhand past Tavin Grant, that tumbled off the goaltender and just across the goal-line at 12:45. Then Jake Elmer just got enough of Brad Morrison’s pass, to tip it up and over Grant from the top of the crease at 13:22.
Aaron Boyd fought Hurricanes’ Captain Jordy Bellerive late in the first period, after Bellerive came to the defense of his teammate, after Boyd rocked Brad Morrison with a heavy hit at the Cougars’ blue-line.
Prince George had a rebuttal early in the middle frame, as they got a goal from an unlikely source to tie it 2-2. Austin Crossley scored his first as a Cougar and just his second career goal just before the four-minute mark. Fellow newcomer Kjell Kjemhus led the odd-man rush with Crossley, before he fired the puck over to the pinching defenceman, who had his shot go off the goalie’s pad but then off Morrison and in at 3:39.
The 2-2 deadlock wasn’t broken until the midway mark of the third, as Max Kryski scored seconds after a power-play expired. Seven-seconds after the Cougars power-play ended, Kryski got the puck at the side of the net, and flipped it over Flodell’s glove to make it 3-2 at 10:38. Jack Sander made a great pass on that goal, moving down from the point and spotting Kryski at the top of the crease.
Then, on the very next shift, Aaron Boyd hauled in a rebound off of Flodell’s pad and quickly spun the puck back out front. Curtis was there, unmarked, and he slammed it into an open net at 10:54; his goal coming 16-seconds after Kryski’s.
Lethbridge pulled their goalie within the final two-minutes but the Cougars kept the Hurricanes at bay.