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HomeNewsCougars' game 1 comeback killed by controversial no-goal call

Cougars’ game 1 comeback killed by controversial no-goal call

Fans in the CN Centre have not been that angry in quite some time.

Their lowest low came immediately after what they thought was their highest high – it appeared to the 4369 fans in the building that the Prince George Cougars had completed a two-goal third period comeback with 58 seconds left on the clock, to send the game to overtime 5-5.

The building erupted, it was the second multi-goal deficit the Cougars had stormed back from in the game, being down 3-0 early in the second period.

Then the goal got called back. Tri-City’s net was dislodged by goaltender Tomas Suchanek while he was trying to make the save off Jaxsen Wiebe.

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Page 42 of the WHL’s rulebook states the following:

Rule 25 – Awarded Goals

25.1 Awarded Goal – A goal will be awarded to the attacking team when the opposing team has taken their goalkeeper off the ice and an attacking player has possession and control of the puck (or would have gained possession and control) in the neutral or attacking zone, without a defending player between himself and the opposing goal, and he is prevented from scoring as a result of an infraction committed by the defending team (see 25.3 Infractions – When Goalkeeper is Off the Ice, below).

25.2 Infractions – When Goalkeeper is On the Ice – A goal will be awarded when an attacking player, in the act of shooting the puck into the goal (between the normal position of the posts and completely across the goal line), is prevented from scoring as a result of a defending player or goalkeeper displacing the goal post, either deliberately or accidentally

Based off 25.2, many fans on social media are baffled as to why this was not a good goal.

My PG Now reached out to the WHL for an official ruling on why the goal was overturned, and received nothing in response.

To put it lightly, fans in the building were upset, and when the Americans hit the empty net a few moments later frustrations boiled over and at least 100 water bottles, cans, rally towels, and other items were thrown on the ice in protest.

During this, Tri-City’s Jalen Luypen skated by the corner of his defensive end around section F, taunting fans from the ice.

While the final minute of the game sent fans home frustrated, the Cougars did not do themselves many favours defensively to find themselves in this situation.

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They came out fast, physical and determined, controlling play for the first 15 minutes of the first period, but two late opportunistic Tri-City goals, both from Tyson Greenway, left the Cats trailing after one.

The Americans added to their lead 4:15 into the second period, making the game 3-0.

Three minutes later, Fischer O’Brien and Caden Brown – the Cougars two Prince George-born players – connected on a Suchanek giveaway to bring the CN Centre and the whiteout to life.

Three minutes later Hudson Thornton found the back of the net, sending the game into the third period at 3-2.

Hometown Caden Brown brought the game right back to even two minutes into the period, but once again the Cougars would find themselves in a hole, surrendering two more goals just two minutes apart at 4:46 and 6:55.

Zac Funk turned boos into cheers, scoring on a play that fans thought should have been a penalty to Tri-City at 9:42, setting the stage for the controversial finish.

The no-goal call was very nearly the only call made in the game, Tri-City went 0/1 on their powerplay chances, while the Cougars did not get a chance the entire game, finishing 0/0.

The Cougars heavily outshot the Americans 47-33.

The Cats will be telling themselves “don’t get mad, get even,” game two will kick off in the CN Centre tonight at 6:00.

For the game’s boxscore, click here.

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