A trip that began December 7th in Portland finally ended January 9th in Spokane.

The Prince George Cougars ended a string of 11 consecutive games on the road with a 3-8 record after a 4-2 loss to the Chiefs.

Coming off Tuesday’s 2-0 victory in Tri-City, the Cougars started out slowly.

They were outshot 12-4 in the first while surrendering a pair of power play goals.

Spokane built up period leads of 2-0 and 2-1.

Luc Smith tallied the winner with 7:04 left before 3,223 fans.

Joel Lakusta (early in the second) and Josh Maser (late in the third) scored for the Cougars, who gave up an empty net goal with 12 seconds remaining.

The game highlights are right here.

The 14-22-1-2 Cougars are two points behind the (15-20-2-1) Kamloops Blazers for the second and final wild-card spot with Kamloops holding one game in hand.

The Blazers lost 5-3 Wednesday night in Victoria as ex Cougar Kody McDonald notched a pair of goals for the Royals in his home debut.

Prince George is also one point ahead of the last place (13-21-4) Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Conference.

Seattle beat the league-leading Raiders 4-1 Wednesday in Prince Albert.

The Cougars host the (17-19-3-1) Kelowna Rockets Friday and Saturday to begin a six-game homestand.

The Rockets, who are seven points ahead of P.G., lost 4-2 on home ice to the Everett Silvertips.

The WHL trade deadline is this afternoon at 2:00 (PT).

COUGARS-CHIEFS SCORING SUMMARY:

First Period

Chiefs [1-0] Nolan Reid (6) from Filip Kral and Luke Toporowski (power-play) 4:23

Chiefs [2-0] Ty Smith (4) from Jaret Anderson-Dolan (power-play) 13:43

Second Period

Cougars [2-1] Joel Lakusta (5) from Jackson Leppard and Austin Crossley :31

Third Period

Chiefs [3-1] Luc Smith (17) from Eli Zummack and Ethan McIndoe 12:56

Cougars [3-2] Josh Maser (13) from Joel Lakusta and Jackson Leppard 18:50

Chiefs [4-2] Jake McGrew (17) from Adam Beckman and Ty Smith (empty-net) 19:48

GOALTENDING

Cougars – Taylor Gauthier (Loss) 23/26 57:58

Chiefs – Reece Klassen (win) 15/17 60:00

POWER-PLAY

Cougars – 0/2
Chiefs – 2/2