Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rockets 4 - Cougars 2

Saturday night in Prince George, the Cougars let a 2-0 lead slip away, and fell 4-2 to the Kelowna Rockets. An early third period power play goal from Tyson Ballie proved to be the difference.

The Cougars started very strongly. They out-hit, out-skated, and out-muscled the Rockets through the first 20 minutes. Spencer Asuchak opened the scoring at 5:54 of the first when he tucked home a Troy Bourke rebound for his seventh of the season.

The Cougars doubled their lead when Caleb Belter raced down the right wing and tucked one underneath Adam Brown for his second of the season.

After the 2-0 goal, Kelowna got their legs back. They carried the play in the late stages of the first period and were rewarded when Mitch Chapman’s point-shot found it’s way past Drew Owsley to make it 2-1. For Chapman it was his second of the season for the Rockets.

Late in the first, the Cougars were given a power play and came eerily close to making it 3-1, but Cody Carlson was unable to take advantage on a nice feed from Alex Forsberg.

The Cougars and Rockets went back-and-forth in the second period with each team getting a few chances. The Rockets’ netminder Adam Brown stood tall and made some clutch saves, and even got some help from defenceman Kevin Smith who took a sure goal away from Charles Inglis mid-way through the frame.

The Rockets tied the score at 11:11 of the second on a wrist-shot from Zach Franko that hand-cuffed Drew Owsley. Owsley made the save with his glove, but the puck hopped over his head, and wound up in the net for Franko’s fifth of the season.

Early in the third Kelowna took advantage on the power play. Tyson Ballie tried to center the puck through the slot, but instead it redirected back towards him off of Martin Marincin, and Ballie slid it into the open net to give Kelowna 3-2 lead. A tough break for the Cougars considering the magnitude of the hooking penalty that was called on Reid Jackson.

Jackson was removed from the game after he argued the call to no avail.

The Rockets sealed the game when Tyrell Goulbourne converted on a Shane McColgan pass from behind the net to make it 4-2.

The Cougars did outshot Kelowna 31-26, but finished the game zero-for-five on the power play while Kelowna went one-for-seven.

The Cougars will look to get back on track Tuesday night when they welcome the defending champs from Kootenay to town.

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