Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cougars Fall 3-1 to Giants.

Saturday in Prince George, the Prince George Cougars fell 3-1 to the Vancouver Giants. Cain Franson scored twice and Adam Morrison stopped 22 of 23 shots for the victory. Alex Forsberg countered with the lone goal for Prince George while Drew Owsley made 32 saves on 34 shots faced.

It was a scoreless game after 20 minutes but it wasn’t for a lack of chances from the Cougars. Adam Morrison made several key stops including one point-blank from Austin Daae. The Giants outshot the Cougars 7-6 in the first period.

Early in the second period the Cougars thought they had taken the lead short-handed. Austin Daae followed up a Greg Fraser shot and put one clean off the cross-bar. Fans celebrated like the Cougars had scored, and a number of teddy bears made their way onto the ice because of Teddy Bear and Toque Toss. The officials reviewed the play and no goal was scored.

The Giants struck first in the second period when Cain Franson received a pass from Dalton Sward and made no mistake for his 13th of the season. Franson added his second of the night at 9:57 on a double-minor power play.

Late in the second period things got tense when Matt Bellerive took a goaltender interference penalty on Drew Owsley. Owsley went after Bellerive and was penalized as well, and the teams started the third period four-on-four.

The Cougars nearly opened the scoring early in the third period, but Jesse Forsberg was denied on a short-handed breakaway by Adam Morrison.

With just over six minutes remaining in the game, Jesse Forsberg dropped the gloves with Luke Fenske after he threw a big body-check. Fans applauded the fight, and proceeded to throw their Teddy Bears onto the ice. The game was delayed for several minutes while numerous helpers cleaned up the ice.

The Cougars then went to a power play because of an instigator penalty to Fenske, and made the Giants pay. Alex Forsberg potted his 11th of the season to give the Cougars some life. For Forsberg it was the third consecutive game where he’s scored.

Unfortunately that was it for the Cougars offense. Austin Vetterl scored an empty-netter and the Giants won it 3-1.

The Giants outshot the Cougars 35-23 and finished one-for-seven on the power play. The Cougars finished one for five on the man advantage in defeat.

Next up, a break for the Cougars. They return to action on December 28th at home against the Calgary Hitmen. They will do so without the services of Alex Forsberg, Jarrett Fontaine, Chase Witala and Jordan Tkatch who are all representing their provinces at the Under-17 Hockey Challenge taking place in Windsor, Ontario starting December 29th.

The Cougars head into the break with a record of 12-21-0-2 and they currently sit ninth in the Western Conference, just one point back of Seattle for eighth place.

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