Nolan Foote and the Kelowna Rockets’ power-play was the difference, as the Prince George Cougars fell 3-2 to their B.C. Division rivals at Prospera Place Saturday.
Foote scored twice, both on the power-play, as the Rockets upended the Cougars to halt their two-game win streak. For Kelowna, it was their fifth win in their last six games (5-0-0-1). Sean Comrie scored the other Rockets’ goal and Roman Basran picked up the win in net, turning aside 19 of 21 shots.
Prince George trailed 2-0 early in the second period but Josh Maser (power-play) and Connor Bowie scored less than two-minutes apart, as the Cougars came back to tie the game 2-2 through 40-minutes. Taylor Gauthier was tagged with the loss, kicking out 23 of 26 Kelowna shots.
As stated, it came down to special teams and the Cougars found themselves in another one-goal game. The Rockets scored twice on six power-plays, whereas the Cougars went 1-3 with the man advantage.
The Cougars started off slow, as they were down 1-0 after 20-minutes and were outshot 10-2 in the opening frame, but stormed back in the second to even the game up. Not only did Maser and Bowie score 2:46 apart, the Cougars outshot the Rockets 13-8 in the middle frame.
Down 2-0, Maser scored his team-best 11th on the power-play 13-minutes into the middle stanza. Ethan Browne found Maser camped out at the top of the crease for the tap-in. Then, Bowie equalized as he cashed in on a rebound in front of the Rockets’ net. Mitch Kohner was stopped after attacking the goal, but Bowie followed up, banging in the rebound past a down and out Basran at 15:49.
It remained 2-2 up until the seven-minute mark of the third period. The Cougars found themselves in penalty trouble once again and the Rockets capitalized. Foote scored his second of the game, once more on the power-play, after he hammered a one-timer from the right-wing circle at 7:41 to make it 3-2.
Prince George tried to rally in the final minutes but ran out of time once they got the goalie pulled for the extra skater.
Game Notes: The Rockets have scored eight power-play goals (8/22) in five games against the Cougars. Prince George fell to 1-4-0-0 against Kelowna and 4-10-0-2 against the B.C. Division. Six of the Cougars last eight games have been decided by just one goal.
Next Up: The Cougars (6-17-0-2) return home to face the Portland Winterhawks (16-6-1-2) at the CN Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday; both games are at 7:00 pm. The two teams play four times over a six-day stretch next week. “Midweek Madness” is in effect both nights. Cariboo Brewing draft beer is just $5, and hotdogs are only $2. Tickets start at just $13 and are available at the TicketsNorth by Treasure Cove Casino box office.
Rockets [1-0] Nolan Foote (12). Assists: Kaeden Korczak, Jadon Joseph 11:26 power-play
Rockets [2-0] Sean Comrie (3). Assists: Mark Liwiski, Michael Farren 1:02
Cougars [2-1] Josh Maser (11). Assists: Ethan Browne, Ryan Schoettler power-play
Cougars [2-2] Connor Bowie (5). Assists: Mitchell Kohner, Craig Armstrong.
Rockets [3-2] Nolan Foote (13). Kaeden Korczak, Jadon Joseph 7:49 power-play
Rockets – 2/6
Three Stars: 1) Nolan Foote 2) Kaeden Korczak 3) Josh Maser