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Cougars fall short in third period, lose to closest rival in west standings

On Sunday night, the Cougars entered the third period trailing 3-2 (against the Vancouver Giants) and scored four straight goals.

Tonight (Tuesday), the Cougars entered the third period trailing 3-2 and could only muster five shots.

The Everett Silvertips skated away with two crucial points in the race for fourth place in the Western Conference, knocking the visiting Cougars off by a 5-2 score in front of 3,779 fans.

Two of Everett’s goals were shot into an empty net late in the game, but they outshot the Cougars 17-5 in the third period and shut down any hope of a second straight comeback victory.

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The Cats led the game twice, 1-0 and 2-1, thanks to two goals from Chase Wheatcroft in the first period – his 19th and 20th of the season, both on the powerplay.

Wheatcroft became the second player in the league to tally 20 goals, following only Connor Bedard (who has 27).

The Cougars held their lead and had the better chances for the majority of the second period, but one bad minute for Ty Young in the Cats’ net resulted in Silvertips goals 60 seconds apart at 14:23 and 15:23, taking the game into the second intermission 3-2.

Everett’s Ben Hemmerling lead the way for his team with two goals and an assist and his linemate Jackson Berezowski had three assists as well, earning themselves first and second star.

The win improves the Tips’ record to 15-10-1-0, moving them three points ahead of Prince George for fourth place in the Western Conference.

The Cougars’ record falls to 14-12-0-0, remaining in fifth in the west and second in BC.

The Victoria Royals did Prince George no favours, losing to the Kamloops Blazers 3-0, moving Kamloops five points ahead of the Cougars for the BC Division lead while still having played two fewer games.

That is Kamloops’ 24th straight victory over the Royals.

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Everett outshot Prince George 50-31 in the game, Ty Young made 45 saves on 48 shots faced in the loss.

Braden Holt was spectacular in the Silvertips’ net, making 29 saves on 31 shots, including many that left the Cougars stunned. He was named the game’s third star.

Special teams were a strong point for Prince George, scoring on two of three powerplay opportunities and killing five of six penalties taken.

The two goals move the Cougars road powerplay percentage to a staggering 40.0%, first place in the entire CHL.

The Cougars are now 1-1 on their six game road trip, and will have a quick turnaround against the Portland Winterhawks (18-4-2-1) tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 7:00.

The Cougars and Hawks have met once before this season on November second in Portland, Prince George took the win 5-4 in a shootout after scoring twice in under a minute late in the third period to tie the game.

For tonight’s boxscore, click here.

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