Well that one sucked. Sorry for the lack of detail, but there’s not much more to say about a 5-1 loss, when you outshoot your opponent 41-36 (33-19 through two periods), and can only manage one goal. It’s frustrating as a fan, and even more so as a player.
Things did get a little chippy at the end of the third but that’s expected. The last period did start with the Winterhawks down three goals, which isn’t insane, but what happened in the first minute of the third was.
Twenty-two seconds in, the Cougars were pressuring. The Winterhawks went to clear the zone, the puck is stopped by Cougars Defenseman Shane Collins, who rips one through a crowd and past Winterhawks Goalie Cole Kehler.
Then 20 after that, Winterhawks Captain Keegan Iverson gets two minutes for elbowing, which looked more like it was helped by the Cougars player. A mere 15 seconds later, Radovan Bondra makes it 5-0 and that was it for Kehler. All five goals weren’t his fault, but at that point, you have to do something.
However, this one is not on Kehler. The offense had their chances, a lot of them really. The Winterhawks outshot the Cougars 17-10 and 16-9 in the first two periods, respectively. Ok, Kehler could have stopped more than 16 shots, but 33 shots should garner something.
Prince George did seem emboldened by losing the first game on home ice, and I am sure they were fired up to make up for that. Cody Glass broke the shutout with just over seven minutes left in the game, which I think is a bigger deal than it seems. When you lose by four goals, at least you can say “Well at least we didn’t get shutout.” I’m reaching I know.
This also didn’t feel like a 5-1 game really. It was 1-0 after the first, which was scored late (15:57 in). The Cougars added two more in the second, but they were spread out (8:32 and 18:35 in). While the wheels fell off a bit in the third, it’s not like they were dominated throughout.
It’s also not bad to be coming home tied in the series 1-1, as a Wild Card team. Both teams PPs were one for four, meaning neither was particularly impactful on the outcome. A close, hard-fought loss can hurt. But a hard-fought game that got a bit out of hand can be shaken off. I’m looking forward to Wednesday night’s game at Veterans.