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HomeNewsFunk makes Cougars history as Cats clinch second BC Division title

Funk makes Cougars history as Cats clinch second BC Division title

It was a banner night for the Prince George Cougars as they picked up a 6-5 shootout win over the Kelowna Rockets.

With the win, the Cougars clinched their second franchise BC Division title.

The 4,768 fans at Prospera Place were treated a back-and-forth game right down to the buzzer, as the two teams traded the lead throughout.

“We did a lot of good things, we came back from being down a goal, our special teams were good,” said Associate Coach Jim Playfair on last night’s post-game show on 94.3 the Goat.

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“We found a way to stick with it and win, and I think going into playoffs, that’s going to happen a lot, not getting down on the group or getting away from our focus, but, you have to win in different ways to be a good playoff team, win on the road, come from behind, have good special teams, overcome adversity, all those types of things, and I think we did some of all that stuff tonight.”

Tij Iginla opened the scoring for the Rockets midway through the opening period.

Just 39 seconds into the second, Hudson Thornton found the back of the net for the Cougars, opening the flood gates for both teams.

Zac Funk scored his 54th and 55th goals of the campaign to tie and break the Cougars’ all-time single-season goal scoring record.

“When you look at his plus-minus, you look at his goals, you look at him as an overall hockey player, it’s little wonder three or four hockey teams are trying to sign him before March 1st,” Playfair said.

“I think he’s becoming a real complete player, and I think what’s happened now is people are identifying him as a hard player to play against.”

Quinn Hancock set the Cougars record with 54 goals in the 1997-98 season.

Iginla scored another for the Rockets, but Riley Heidt answered back a few minutes later.

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Max Graham brought the Rockets back within one late in the second period.

Hiroki Gojsic was determined to be the hero for the Rockets, as he scored not one, but two game-tying goals in the final frame.

His first came just under five minutes into the period to tie the game at four.

Funk scored again with less than three minutes to go to notch his eighth hat-trick of the season.

Gojsic tied the game again with a little over two minutes to go in regulation.

After overtime solved nothing, the Ondrej Becher scored the eventual winner for the Cougars in the first round of the shootout.

Josh Ravensbergen got the start for the Cougars, making 26 saves.

The full box score can be found here.

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The Cougars (40-15-0-3) are on top of the WHL’s Western Conference with a two-point lead over the Portland Winterhawks (39-14-2-1).

Portland has two games in hand.

The full WHL standings can be found here.

The Cougars will be back on home ice for a four game stretch, starting on Friday against the Spokane Chiefs.

The full Cougars schedule can be found here.

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