The Prince George Cougars can circle the second period of tonight’s game with a big red marker. The Vancouver Giants scored five times in middle frame en route to a 7-3 win over the Cougars Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
The loss drops the Cougars’ pre-season record to 2-1, while the Giants improved to 3-1.
Despite the final score, it was a tight-checking first period and it was a late goal by Owen Hardy that broke a scoreless deadlock. The Giants’ forward broke free down the right-wing and snapped a wrist-shot over Isaiah DiLaura’s glove with just over two-minutes left in the period.
Brendan Boyle, Josh Curtis and Jackson Leppard all had chances to open the scoring but couldn’t beat David Tendeck who stopped all nine shots he faced in the first.
Vancouver did bust the game wide open in the second, scoring three goals in the first five-minutes of the period. James Malm scored the first of his three on the night just 76-seconds into the frame on a power-play. Malm squeezed a shot underneath the arm of DiLaura from the right face-off circle.
Brayden Wyatt made it 3-0 four and a half minutes in, tipping in a centering pass from Malm. 27-seconds later Cyle McNabb made it 4-0, poking the puck through DiLaura’s pads on a delayed penalty against Prince George.
Malm picked up his second of the night, midway through the middle stanza, busting down the middle and quickly roofing the puck over the DiLaura’s shoulder at 9:56. Milos Roman capped off the second period scoring, burring a rebound on a five-on-three power-play at 14:59.
Malm got his hat-trick goal two-minutes into the third period, sneaking the puck up high between the post and Brock Hamm’s shoulder to make it 7-0.
Prince George clawed back after that, scoring three consecutive power-play goals to chisel away at the deficit.
Chance Adrian scored his first of the pre-season four-minutes in, banking the puck of the shin of a Vancouver defenceman in the crease. Then it was Marco Mazza potting a cross-ice pass down-low on another man-advantage at 11:50. Max Kryski scored Prince George’s third power-play goal two-minutes later, banging in a back-door pass from Adrian. Despite the flurry of power-play goals, the Cougars third period rally came up short.
Tempers did flare late, as Peter Kope dropped the mitts with Vancouver’s Tristyn DeRoose inside the final minute.
FINAL SCORE: 7-3 Vancouver
Shots: 45-27 Vancouver
Power-Plays: Prince George 3-3 Vancouver 2-4
The Cougars continue their pre-season schedule tomorrow against the Victoria Royals at 2 pm at the Langley Events Centre. They wrap-up their exhibition schedule on Sunday at noon against Everett.