Wednesday night in Prince George, Hunter Shinkaruk scored three times to help the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. Greg Fraser managed the lone tally for the Cougars who remain just four points out of eighth place in the Western Conference.
It was 1-1 after one and the game had a great flow to it. The Tigers opened the scoring when Shinkaruk converted an Emerson Etem pass for his 43rd goal of the season.
Greg Fraser tied the game late in the period on a Cougars power play. Fraser did a solid job of knocking down a bouncing puck in the slot area, and then he roofed a back hand shot past Tyler Bunz for his team-leading 16th goal of the season.
Both goalies made some sharp saves on the first period to keep the game close.
The second period provided a similar pace with equal opportunities at both ends. Troy Bourke and Daulton Siwak nearly connected on a two-on-one chance, but Tyler Bunz denied Bourke and the Tigers capitalized. Drew Owsley then made a glorious save off of Kale Kessy to keep the score tied.
Mid-way through the frame, Brendan Hurley fired a shot through a screen that got past Drew Owsley. Hurley’s fifth gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Early in the third, the Cougars came close again, but Spencer Asuchak was robbed in close by Tyler Bunz who finished with 32 saves on 33 shots faced.
Hunter Shinkaruk padded the lead to 3-1 when he beat the defense to the outside and wired a wrist-shot past Drew Owsley for his 44th goal of the season. He would then add the empty-netter late to seal the game for the Tigers.
The Cougars were one-for-four on the power play while the Tigers were zero-for-one on their lone opportunity.
Medicine Hat outshot the Cougars 43-33.
Nothing changes in the race for eighth place for the Cougars. They have nine games remaining in their regular season and trail the Seattle Thunderbirds by four points, having played in one more game.
Next up: The Spokane Chiefs on Friday and Saturday at CN Centre. The Cougars have a 2-0-0-0 record against the Chiefs and will hope to build off of that success on Friday night.
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