PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Prince George Cougars exploded for five goals in the third period on their way to a 7-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs on Tuesday night. The Chiefs remain eight points back of the Portland Winterhawks for the second and final wild card berth in the Western Conference playoff race.
Spokane got the scoring underway just 81 seconds into regulation as Jaret Anderson-Dolan beat starting goalie Nick McBride to the far post with a shot from the right circle on a 2-on-1 opportunity. The goal was Anderson-Dolan’s 32nd of the season, putting him just one behind Travis Green for third in franchise history in goals scored by a 17-year-old.
The Cougars killed off a 5-on-3 power play by Spokane and were buzzing for the remainder of the first period, eventually taking advantage of a Chiefs turnover in front of netminder Dawson Weatherill to tie the game at 1-1. Jared Bethune found the loose puck inside the left circle and wristed it home for his career-high 17th goal.
Aaron Boyd picked off a Keanu Yamamoto pass late in the second period and took it the length of the ice for a shorthanded goal at the 15:33 mark to give Prince George a 2-1 lead.
Radovan Bondra fired a shot from the left wing early in the third period that deflected off Kody McDonald’s stick and Weatherill’s glove before slowly flipping into the Spokane net to give Prince George a 3-1 lead at the 3:28 mark. It was the 12th goal of the season for McDonald while the assist pushed Bondra’s point streak to four games.
Jansen Harkins took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play with 11 minutes left in regulation to extend the Cougars’ lead to three goals, turning quick shot on net from the right side for his second goal in as many games. McAuley fired in his 20th to make it 5-1 at the 14:26 mark, off assists from Harkins and Joel Lakusta. Brad Morrison added his 21st at 17:09 to push it to 6-1.
Ethan McIndoe chipped his 15th of the season into the net at the 18:15 mark for his fifth goal in six games, with assists going to linemates Eli Zummack and Hayden Ostir. Jackson Leppard capped the scoring for Prince George with 24 seconds remaining, beating Weatherill on a wrap-around shot just his second goal of the season.
Spokane finished 0-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-7 on the penalty kill. They were outshot 36-30.
Spokane looks to bounce back on Friday night in Kelowna as they’ll face the Rockets at 7 p.m. Mike Boyle will have the call on 1510 KGA NW Sports Talk beginning with the pre-game show at 6:30.
Spokane returns home on February 25 for Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade Breast Cancer Awareness Night & Helmet Giveaway at the Arena as they host the Tri-City Americans. The Chiefs will wear special pink-accented jerseys to be auctioned off for charity. Tickets for the 25th and all Chiefs home games are available in-person at the Chiefs’ Ticket Office, over-the-phone at 509-535-PUCK and online at ticketswest.com or spokanechiefs.com.