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Cougars Edge Past T-Birds 5-4 in OT

KENT, February 27, 2015 — The Prince George Cougars defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds Friday night, winning 5-4 in overtime.  The loss puts Seattle’s record at 31-22-4-4 this season.  Despite the loss, Seattle earned a point in the standings tonight and is now just seven points behind the Portland Winterhawks for second in the U.S. Division.  Prince George improves to 25-33-2-2.

Jansen Harkins scored 33 seconds into the overtime period on a rebound to give the victory to the Cougars.  Zach Pochiro’s initial shot bounced off of Kozun’s pads and went to the other side of the net, where Harkins was waiting.

The T-Birds take on the Portland Winterhawks Saturday at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center.

The T-Birds forced a physical early pace to the game with an aggressive forecheck and several solid hits that carried through the whole period.

Prince George went in front 1-0 on their second shot of the game. Jari Erricson tipped a shot from Josh Connolly past Taran Kozun at 13:01 on a four-on-three Cougars power play. Chase Witala had the second assist on the goal.

The T-Birds stormed right back and score three goals, two on the power play, in 4:23 to take a 3-1 lead.

Shea Theodore tied the game 1-1 at 13:30 of when he tapped the puck into empty net.  Mathew Barzal skated from the top of the left circle straight at Prince George goalie Ty Edmonds. Barzal crossed the puck into the crease, forcing Edmonds down, right to Theodore and he put in the net for his 10th goal of the season.

The T-Birds struck on the power play 50 seconds after the first goal when Cory Millette finished off tic-tac-toe passing play. Barzal cross the puck from the right circle to Theodore in the left circle. Theodore centered the puck to Millette on top of the crease and he put the puck through Edmonds’ legs.

Roberts Lipsbergs scored a five-on-three power goal at 17:53 of the period to get the T-Birds third goal. Jerret Smith fired a shot from center ice. Millette banged at the rebound and the puck went into the right corner where Lipsbergs got to it. Lipsbergs brought the puck out of the corner and into the right circle. Lipsbergs snapped a wrist shot over Edmonds left should with Millette screening the goal.

Seattle outshot Prince George 20-3 in the first period.

The Cougars tied the game 3-3 with two five-on-three power play goals 39 seconds apart early in the second period. Pochiro scored both of the goals from the left circle on cross slot passes. Harkins and Connolly had the assists Pochiro’s first goal and Harkins and Witala had the assists on the second.

The T-Birds fought back and took the lead at 14:44 on a goal Luke Osterman. Nick Holowko got to a puck behind the Prince George net. Holowko passed the puck to Lane Pederson at the bottom of the left circle. Pederson took a shot that got through Edmonds but lay in the crease. Luke Osterman fought through a defenseman and while falling down poked the puck across the goal line.

Prince George tied the game 4-4 on a power-play goal from Jordan Ross at 17:53 of the period. Ross beat Kozun from the left circle on assists from Brad Morrison and Pochiro.

The Cougars outshot the T-Birds 16-4 in the second period and the T-Birds had a 24-19 lead in shots after two periods.

Up-and-down hockey in the third period led to no goals, sending the game to overtime.  Keegan Kolesar had a chance as the period expired when Theodore found him at the side of the net but Kolesar’s shot went wide of the goal.

Shots were 12-8 Seattle in the scoreless third period.

Seattle will host the Portland Winterhawks Saturday night at 7:05 pm at the ShoWare Center.  The T-Birds will hit the road after that, playing on Monday in Victoria against the Royals at 7:05 pm.

T-Birds single game tickets for the 2014-15 season are available online at the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday game days at 10 a.m. and Sunday game days at noon.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period – 1, Prince George, Erricson 15 (Connolly, Harkins), 13:01 (pp). 2, Seattle, Theodore 10 (Barzal), 13:30. 3, Seattle, Millette 18 (Theodore, Barzal), 14:20 (pp). 4, Seattle, Lipsbergs 11 (Millette, Smith), 17:53 (pp). Penalties – Bear, PG (major-fighting), 3:43. Kolesar, Sea (major-fighting), 3:43. Ruopp, PG (tripping), 8:13. McAuley, PG (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:13. Barzal, Sea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:13. Spencer, Sea (roughing), 12:02. Andrlik, PG (roughing), 12:02. Kolesar, Sea (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 12:28. Pochiro, PG (roughing, major-fighting), 12:28. Eansor, Sea (slashing), 12:28. Gropp, Sea (roughing), 14:05. Erricson, PG (cross checking), 14:05. Ruopp, PG (roughing), 14:05. Spencer, Sea (major-fighting), 14:31. Anderson, PG (major-fighting), 14:31. Witala, PG (interference), 15:11. McAuley, PG (slashing), 17:15. Ruopp, PG (cross checking), 17:23.

Second period – 5, Prince George, Pochiro 13 (Harkins, Connolly), 3:10 (pp). 6, Prince George, Pochiro 14 (Harkins, Witala), 3:49 (pp). 7, Seattle, Osterman 2 (Pederson, Holowko), 14:44. 8, Prince George, Ross 1 (Morrison, Pochiro), 17:53 (pp). Penalties – Wardley, Sea (interference, slashing, cross checking) 2:06. Smith, Sea (delay of game), 2:10. Smith, Sea (10-minute misconduct), 9:23. Bethune, PG (10-minute misconduct), 9:23. Bear, Sea (hooking), 10:28. Gropp, Sea (holding), 15:56.

Third period – No scoring. Penalties – Ross, PG (tripping), 6:21.

Overtime – 5, Prince George, Harkins 19 (Pochiro, Ruopp), :33.. Penalties – No penalties.

Shots on goal – Seattle 20-4-12-0 36, Prince George 3-16-8-2 29. Goalies – Seattle, Kozun 29 shots-24 saves (28-16-4-4); Prince George, Edmonds 36-32 (22-22-2-2). Power plays – Seattle 2-6; Prince George 3-8. A – 4,055. Referees – Kevin Bennett, Jason Nissen. Linesmen – Aaron Mills, Tim Digby.

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