The Vancouver Giants (33-13-2-1) went into Saturday’s game against the Prince George Cougars (16-29-3-2) after being shutout down in Portland the night before.
Vancouver leads the season series 5-1-0-0 but of those six games, four of them have been decided by only one goal, despite the gap in the BC Division standings between the two clubs.
The Giants got out to a quick start but the Cougars managed to keep pace and had solid goaltending by Isaiah DiLaura as the hometown team was able hold on for a 4-2 victory Saturday night.
Calgary Flames prospect Milos Roman opened the scoring at the 3:15 mark of the first period when he took a Dylan Plouffe slap pass from the point and snuck it five hole with a cheeky backhand for his 19th of the campaign on the powerplay, for the Giants’ only goal out of six man advantages on the night. North Vancouver’s Cole Moberg broke the tie for the Cougars with a point shot that had eyes, managing to get past Trent Miner and traffic in front, with the teams being tied at one after 20 minutes.
Dylan Plouffe recorded his second of three points on the night with his fifth goal of the season, taking a good bounce off the end wall and just sliding it underneath DiLaura to regain the one goal lead.
The Cougars continued to show they could compete with the best of them despite being doubled in shots for the better part of the night, coming back from two separate one-goal deficits. Many at the Langley Events Centre ready for a 2-1 Giants lead after two periods, but Josh Maser had other plans. The 20-year-old from Houston, BC converted on the Cougars’ second powerplay of night with just a couple seconds left on the clock to tie the game heading into the final frame.
The third period saw some back and forth but to no avail for either team until just before the 15 minute mark when Justin Sourdif drove wide while protecting the puck and lifted a shot in tight over DiLaura’s glove side shoulder to give the game’s deciding goal in impressive fashion.
Milos Roman put the game away with an empty net goal for his second of the game to hit the 20-goal plateau, doubling his total from last season, to hand the Cougars their ninth straight loss.
Though there were no fights, the game had its share of rough stuff and chippy play, specifically at the game ending buzzer with a late hit from the Cougars’ Mitchell Kohner causing a bit of a crowd and some pushing and shoving. These two teams play each other three times in the next seven days so the rivalry will surely heat up and make for some good hockey.
The Giants hit the road for back to back games in Prince George on Tuesday and Wednesday as they try to shrink the seven point gap behind the Western Conference leading Everett Silvertips with two games in hand.