Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cats Kickoff Road-Trip With 3-1 Win in Kelowna.

The Prince George Cougars were able to keep their playoff hopes alive on Saturday night thanks to a 3-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. Troy Bourke paced the Cougars with two goals and an assist and Drew Owsley stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced to lift the Cougars to their 22nd victory of the season.

After killing off two early penalties, the Cougars drew first blood offensively when Ricard Blidstrand buried his fifth of the season from the right point. Adam Brown stopped Caleb Belter point-blank, but the rebound came all the way back to Blidstrand who made no mistake.

Prince George kept their positive momentum going in the second period. They were given three power plays, and though they did not score, they sure came close on a number of different occasions. Chase Witala and Spencer Asuchak had the best chances to score, but Adam Brown did his part keeping the game at 1-0 through 40 minutes.

Late in the third, the Cougars added to their lead when Troy Bourke put home a Caleb Belter rebound for his 15th of the season on a power play. Bourke’s goal would prove to be an important one, because 19 seconds later the Kelowna Rockets moved within one when Myles Bell weaved through the defense and roofed one over the glove of Drew Owsley for his 15th of the season.

Kelowna then kept their pressure up and nearly tied the score, but Drew Owsley stood tall and the rest of the Cougars in front of him were very diligent in blocking shots and keeping the puck out of their net.

All of the hard work defensively paid off and Troy Bourke sealed the deal with an empty-netter for his 16th of the season.

The Cougars outshot Kelowna 31-25 and finished the game one-for-four on the power play. Kelowna went zero-for-two on their opportunities.

With the victory, the Cougars move within four points of eighth placed Victoria in the Western Conference standings. The Cougars have four games remaining in their regular season and are still mathematically alive in the race for eighth in the West.

The Cougars will keep their playoff quest going tomorrow night when they square off with the Tri City Americans.

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