The Lethbridge Hurricanes kicked off a three game in four night road trip Wednesday night in Prince George against the Cougars. A three goal second period helped the Cougars to a 6-2 win at the CN Centre.
Heading into the contest, the Hurricanes top line of Zane Jones, Riley Sheen and Jamal Watson was red hot combining for 14 points in three games and scoring all seven ‘Canes goals in previous three outings, however, the Lethbridge trio was kept off the scoreboard and it was the Cougars top line that did the damage.
The first line of Chase Witala, Jansen Harkins and Jari Erricson combined for 11 points in the game and four of PG’s six goals. Erricson led the way with two goals and three assists in the game.
In the first period, the Hurricanes started flat and quickly saw Prince George jump out to an early lead as just over three minutes in Erricson snapped one home passed Stuart Skinner to make it 1-0. Later in the period, while the ‘Canes were on a power play, a shorthanded breakaway for Colby McAuley paid dividends as he made it 2-0. However, the Hurricanes would respond just over a minute later as Dexter Bricker potted his first career WHL goal – Nikita Milekhin picked up his first WHL point with an assist on the play while Brett Kitt tallied his first point since being acquired from Brandon. The Cougars held the edge 2-1 after twenty minutes.
In the second, the Cougars took over scoring three times. After an early goal by Erricson on a five-on-three man advantage, Lethbridge product Kody McDonald scored his first WHL goal on a long snap shot that deflected off Lenny Hackman’s stick to make it 4-1. Chase Witala made it a 5-1 game with a goal in the last minute of the period to give the Cougars a commanding lead.
Despite an early goal just over two minutes into the period by Kord Pankewicz (Milekhin and Folk had the helpers), the hill was too tall to climb for the ‘Canes as Cal Babych added an empty better to seal the 6-2 victory.
Final shots favoured the Cougars 42-27.
Three stars in the game:
1) Cougars – #15 Jari Erricson
2) Cougars – #8 Chase Witala
3) Cougars – #12 Jansen Harkins
The win improves PG to 4-4-0-0 on the season, while the loss slips Lethbridge to 1-4-0-1 on the year.
‘Canes will practice Thursday in Kamloops before a Friday night showdown against the Blazers. They’ll conclude the three game trip Saturday in Kelowna against the Rockets.
Listen to both games live on ROCK 106.