The Prince George Cougars were five and half minutes away from finishing their season on a winning note, but the Kamloops Blazers strung together more late game magic, in a stunning 4-2 come from behind win at the CN Centre.
The Cougars’ Cole Moberg broke a 1-1 tie with a short-handed goal with under five and half minutes left in the third period, sending the over 5,100 fans into a frenzy. However, the Blazers wasted little time responding and celebration was quickly muted.
Kamloops answered right back, as Jermaine Loewen made it 2-2 just 15-seconds after Moberg’s goal. Connor Zary then scored the game winner on a breakaway, short-handed, with just 2:45 left in regulation. Loewen added an empty-net goal inside the final minute to seal it.
The two teams combined to score four goals in just over four-minutes in the third period. They produced just two goals through 54-minutes prior to that.
The dramatic win kept the Blazers’ playoff hopes alive, as they will play the Kelowna Rockets in a Tie-Breaker game on Tuesday night. The Rockets beat the Vancouver Giants 3-2 in overtime Saturday. The winner moves on to play the Victoria Royals in the opening round of the WHL playoffs.
Vladislav Mikhalchuk scored in the second period, his 25thgoal of the season, as he finished the season on a three-game goal scoring streak. He had four goals and seven points in the final three games of the season to help him reach he 50-point threshold. Taylor Gauthier suffered the loss in goal, turning aside 21 of 24 shots.
The Blazers Connor Zary recorded his second consecutive three-point game, as he had six points in the weekend doubleheader. 20-year-old Jermaine Loewen scored twice for Kamloops and Kobe Mohr had the other goal. Dylan Garand stopped 29 of 31 shots in the Blazers’ crease.
Saturday was the final games in the WHL for 20-year-olds Josh Curtis, Joel Lakusta and Mike MacLean. Curtis Captain the team in his fourth season and final season. Lakusta was an Alternate Captain and he too played four seasons with the Cougars. MacLean played two seasons in the WHL split between Seattle and Prince George.
The Cougars wrap up the 2018-19 season on Sunday morning with their annual Awards Brunch banquet at the Prince George Civic Centre. Nine awards will be handed out, as the Cougars recognize individual accomplishments and milestones from the 2018-19 WHL season.
Blazers [1-0] Kobe Mohr (9) from Quinn Schmeimann, Connor Zary 8:48
Cougars [1-1] Vladislav Mikhalchuk (25) from Cole Moberg, Josh Curtis
Cougars [2-1] Cole Moberg (13) from Tyson Upper 14:39 SH
Blazers [2-2] Jermaine Loewen (27) from Connor Zary, Luke Zazula 14:54
Blazers [3-2] Connor Zary (24) 17:15 SH
Blazers [4-2] Jermaine Loewen (28) 19:11 Empty Net
Cougars- Taylor Gauthier (Loss)59:28 21/24
Blazers- Dylan Garand(Win)60:0029/31
The Cougars finish the season with 19-41-5-3, finishing fifth in the B.C. Division. The team would like to thank their fans, sponsors, volunteers and the community of Prince George for their tremendous support this past season.