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HomeNewsAmericans offensive outburst salvages road split against Cougars

Americans offensive outburst salvages road split against Cougars

It’s not often the second game of the season is considered a bounce back.

For the Tri-City Americans, they had no choice after getting pumped for nine goals the night prior.

A two-goal effort by newly acquired defenceman Pavel Bocharov lifted the Ams to a 6-4 road victory Saturday over the Prince George Cougars in front of 2,399 fans at the CN Centre.

Right from the opening puck-drop, Tri-City swarmed rookie netminder Joshua Ravensbergen making him look mortal between the pipes.

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At 8:27 of the first period, a point blast by Jackson Smith found the stick of Jake Sloan who jammed home the rebound to give the Americans an early 1-0 lead.

Less than three minutes later, Bocharov made his presence felt, capitalizing on a Jordan Gavin feed on a 3-on 2 rush beating Ravensbergen doubling the Tri-City advantage.

Prior to the intermission, the Cougars clawed their way back as a routine clear out from Ephram McNutt found Terik Parascak leading to a 2-on-1, beating Tri-City goaltender Nick Avakyan making it a 2-1 game after 20 minutes.

The offensive fireworks continued into the middle period. A Jackson Romeril roughing call led to a Cougars power-play that carried over – a point shot from Hudson Thronton got past a screened Avakyan to even the score.

However, Tri-City re-took the lead with a power-play goal of their own. This time, it was Gavin converting on a Sloan feed to solve Ravensbergen.

The bad blood between the two Western Conference rivals seeped through with a festive scrap between Cougars rookie Aiden Foster and Ams first year blueliner Jaxen Adam, bringing the crowd to its feet.

Oren Shtrom put the Cats back on even terms with a blue-collar shift, stripping the puck from Sloan behind the net, shoveling a back between the wickets of Avakyan.

It seemed for everything the Cougars did right offensively, Tri-City always had a timely response. Case in point, a Bocharov point blast with five seconds remaining in the second found its way past Ravensbergen giving them a 4-3 edge.

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Sloan added his second of the game for the Americans at 1:28 of the third period. A pass behind the goal from Deegan McMillan found the blade of the 19-year-old forward who made no mistake.

Viliam Kmec added his fourth of the season for the Cougars late in the third.

With Ravensbergen pulled, Sloan completed the hat-trick sliding the puck into a yawning cage to ice the victory.

Gavin, Sloan, Bocharov and McMillan all had multi-point night for the Americans (1-1). Zac Funk and Hudson Thronton were the only Cougars who had at least two points.

Tri-City went 1-for-6 on the power-play while PG was 1-for-3.

The Cougars outshot the Americans 32-29.

Both teams were without a number of their star players due to NHL camps.

PG was without Koehn Ziemmer (Los Angeles), Riley Heidt (Minnesota) and Ty Young (Vancouver).

Tri-City has Parker Bell away at Calgary Flames camp, the 20-year-old recently signed his entry-level contract. In addition, smooth skating defenceman Lukas Dragicevic is at camp with the Seattle Kraken.

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Dragicevic led the Americans in scoring last season with 75 points while Bell ranked second with 64.

Tomas Suchanek was scratched for both games by the Americans who currently have six overagers on their roster, the league limit is three.

PG’s (1-1) next action is a road doubleheader next Friday and Saturday in Victoria against the Royals from the Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena.

You can catch the action with Cole Waldie on 94.3 The Goat.

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