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HomeNewsCougars' special teams win battle of attrition with Americans

Cougars’ special teams win battle of attrition with Americans

Don’t let the score fool you, last night’s Cougars game came down to the wire.

The Cats topped the Tri-City Americans 4-1 in Kennewick in front of 2797 fans, but three of those goals came in the last three minutes – and two were sent into an empty net.

Tri-City’s Jordan Gavin opened the scoring 6:45 into the first period, from that point on it looked like both goaltenders – Joshua Ravensbergen for Prince George and Lukas Metecha for the Americans – may never be solved again.

It took the Cougars 26 shots to beat Metecha once, it came from Zac Funk on the powerplay in the final minute of the second period, and nobody knew it went in.

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The Cougars controlled the play for the majority of the second and third periods, but the score remained 1-1 until Tri-City took their second penalty of the game.

Ondrej Becher took a scary looking knee-on-knee from Andrew Fan and had to be helped of off the ice.

It didn’t take long for Prince George to once again prove why they have the WHL’s best powerplay, and Zac Funk scored again to give the Cougars a 2-1 lead with 3:15 on the clock.

Funk would complete the natural hat trick under two minutes later when he hit the empty net, and had an assist on Heidt’s empty netter that followed soon after.

The hat trick gives Funk 26 goals in 26 games – 18 of them have come on the powerplay. He leads the WHL in that metric with twice as many PPGs as second place.

Chase Wheatcroft set the Cougars single season powerplay goal record last year with 22, which was also tied for most in the WHL a season ago.

Riley Heidt had three assists and the last empty net goal, Terik Parascak had two.

The Cougars outshot the Americans 43-31 and cashed in on both of their powerplay attempts.

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They also killed all four penalties they took in the game – further solidifying the WHL’s best percentage in both special team categories (32.8% powerplay, 87.0% penalty kill).

Prince George improves to 19-7-0-0, remaining on top of the BC Division and Western Conference standings.

They trail the Saskatoon Blades for first in the league by one point, but Saksatoon has played two more games.

The Cougars play the 10-11-2-0 Spokane Chiefs in what will be their Teddy Bear Toss game tonight at 6:05.

They will complete the three-in-three on Sunday against the Portland Winterhawks at 5:00 on Sunday.

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