Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cats Playoff Push Comes to an End in Kamloops.

After a valiant effort down the stretch, the Prince George Cougars quest for a playoff spot came to an end on Friday night in Kamloops. The Blazers scored six goals in the third period and secured a 10-4 victory over the Cougars. Ricard Blidstrand had three helpers for the Cougars in a losing cause while Alex Forsberg, Jesse Forsberg, Jake Mykitiuk and Caleb Belter supplied the goals. Colin Smith scored three goals for Kamloops while Brandon Herrod finished the game with a goal and three assists.

Prince George opened the scoring in the first period at the 10:11 mark. Caleb Belter earned his seventh of the season off a Ricard Blidstrand point shot that deflected in off of Belter’s lower-body.

Kamloops would tie it late in the first on the power play. It was Jordan DePape who converted his fifth of the season to tie the score at one. The shots were 7-7 after one.

Early in the second, the Cougars took their lead back when Jake Mykitiuk made a nice move to the middle and fired a wrist shot past Cole Cheveldave for his sixth of the season.

Less than two minutes later, Brendan Ranford tied the score with his 40th goal of the season. Then Colin Smith made it 3-2 when he took advantage of an errant shot-block that would up right on his stick in front of the net.

Jesse Forsberg tied the score at 12:47 of the second on a point-shot from the left side. The Cougars captain has now scored four goals in the month of March and continues to be a major bright spot for the Cougars at both ends of the ice.

The tie game didn’t last long. Less than two minutes later, Brendan Ranford centered a pass for Jordan DePape who made no mistake for his sixth of the season and second of the game, and the Blazers took the 4-3 lead into the second intermission.

The third period was all Kamloops. Colin Smith scored early in the third to make it 5-3, and then Kamloops quickly took advantage of some power plays. Brandon Herrod and Colin Smith scored power play goals to make it a 7-3 lead, and then Cole Ully, Ryan Hanes and Chase Souto all scored within a five minute span to make the score 10-3.

Alex Forsberg rounded out the scoring with a late power play goal for Prince George.

Kamloops outshot the Cougars 39-27 while finishing the game with three power play goals on five attempts. The Cougars responded by going one-for-three on the man advantage.

The Cougars loss, coupled with Seattle’s victory in Spokane officially eliminated the Cougars from playoff contention. The Cougars record now sits at 23-46-0-2 heading into tomorrow night’s regular season finale at CN Centre, which is also against Kamloops.

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