Cougars fall flat; Medicine Hat is the top Cat

MEDICINE HAT – The Prince George Cougars started their three-game road trip with a tough 4-1 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night.

Tigers opened up the scoring with their first shot of the game, just 28-seconds into the first period. It was the same feeling heading into the second period when just one minute in Medicine Hat scored again. The Tigers went into the final period up 3-0. The Cougars Captain Josh Curtis third-period goal was his first of the season, but one goal wasnt enough as the game ended 4-1 for the Tigers. 

LOOSE PUCKS: The Cougars will be in Lethbridge to play the Hurricanes tonight (6 p.m. PT, then travel to Cranbrook for a Sunday game (3 p.m. PT) against the Kootenay Ice….The Cougars have just one game next weekend, a Sunday afternoon encounter with the Swift Current Broncos at CN Centre… Willie Desjardins, a former Vancouver Canucks head coach who guided the Tigers to WHL titles in 2004 and 2007, is now program director of the South Alberta Hockey Academy, based in Medicine Hat. Desjardins coached the Canucks for three seasons, from 2014-17.

Tigers tame the other WHL Cats

The Cougars have scored just five goals over their four-game winless streak. Their 14-goals over their first eight games is the second-lowest output in the WHL. 

Jevne made it a 3-0 game, 9:26 into the second. He let go a backhander from a sharp angle that Gauthier appeared to have stopped in his trapper but the puck fell out before the whistle and trickled between his legs into the net. Gauthier atoned for that mistake seconds later, stopping Hayden Ostir on a breakaway chance.

The Cougars travel to Lethbridge on Saturday for game two of the weekend to face the Hurricanes. The puck drops at 6 pm at the ENMAX Centre. Saturday marks the Cougars first trip to Lethbridge since January 13th, 2017.

Gauthiers woes in the crease continued in the second period. Chyzowski broke in along the left side and let go a shot and the Cougar goalie kicked out a juicy rebound right onto the stick of Preziuso who buried it just 1:50 into the period.

The Medicine Hat Tigers alternate captain potted a pair of markers, ending an eight-game scoring drought in a 4-1 win over the Prince George Cougars at the Canalta Centre.

Prince George trailed just 28 seconds into the game. Nassen took a shot from the blueline that ticked off the stick of Curtis, a Cougars right winger, and that changed the flight path of the puck just enough to fool Taylor Gauthier.

Linus Nassen also scored a goal and added a pair of assists, while Tyler Preziuso and Ryan Chyzowski each netted a pair of points.

Curtis struck for the Cougars 3:39 into the third period, tipping in a goalmouth pass from Rhett Rhinehart, but Jevne cancelled the comeback plan when he scored less than minute later on a Medicine Hat power play.

Its Medicine Hats first victory at home this season, improving to a record of 4-5-0-1. Theyve also won three of the last four, including last weekends double-header south of the border.

Mads Sogaard produced another strong outing, earning his second career victory with 22 saves. The Danish rookie now boasts a personal record of 2-0-0-1 in three starts with a 0.943 save percentage.

It took Linus Nassen just 28 seconds to open the scoring, ricocheting a shot off a body in front of the net and behind Cougars goalie Taylor Gauthier.

But the Tigers responded in kind less than a minute later when Austin Crossley was nabbed for holding. It only took seven seconds for Jevne to creep in from the point and cash in on the power play with his second of the night — snuffing out any of Prince Georges remaining momentum while bringing the fans in attendance to their feet.

Tyler Preziuso cashed in his third of the year 1:50 into the middle frame. The Victoria, BC product ripped a loose rebound after Ryan Chyzowski was stopped by Gauthier.

Jevnes scoring woes haunted him since September 21, having not tickled the twine since the first game of the year. Not only that, the overage forward has amassed the most shots of any Tiger this season, and sits second in the entire WHL in that department.

Jevne stretched Medicine Hats lead to three goals midway through the middle frame when he jammed his own rebound through Gauthier while driving behind the net. The goal stood as Jevnes second of the season despite coming on his 39th shot in 10 games.

Jevnes first of the night came crossing the midway mark of the second to give Medicine Hat a 3-0 lead. He creatively pulled the puck between his legs as he slipped by the low side of a defender to his backhand. He then chipped the puck over the shoulder of Gauthier, finishing off a beautiful individual effort, and breaking his eight-game scoring drought.

The celebration was short lived — Jevne regained full control of the contest, scoring his second of the night less than a minute later on the power-play.

Ryan Jevne scored twice and Linus Nassen added three points to lead the Tigers to a dominant 4-1 victory over the visiting Prince George Cougars in this seasons lone battle of the big cats.

Medicine Hat will look for its second win in as many nights tomorrow, hosting the Kootenay ICE at 7:30 p.m.