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HomeNewsDumanski, Funk lead Cougars offensive charge in Game 5 win over Tri-City

Dumanski, Funk lead Cougars offensive charge in Game 5 win over Tri-City

During any playoff run, some unlikely heroes often step into the spotlight.

This could not have been more true for the Prince George Cougars, who saw its depth rise to the occasion during a 6-2 Game 5 victory on Friday against the Tri-City Americans in front of 3,200 fans from the Toyota Centre in Kennewick, Washington.

Photo supplied by Brendan Pawliw, staff

PG now leads the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series 3-2.

Heading into the third period tied at two, the Cougars threw everything including the kitchen sink at star Tri-City netminder Tomas Suchanek. After a failed power-play, which saw three highlight reel saves from the Czechia import, PG kept on pressing, notching four unanswered goals.

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At the 8:32 mark, Caden Brown outraced Americans defenceman Lukas Dragicevic for a loose puck and backhanded a sharp angle shot that trickled past Suchanek. Over six minutes later, overage forward Cole Dubinsky carried the puck on a 2-on-2 rush, slipping a check from Chase Friedt-Mohr, lifting the puck from the goal line and squirting into the Tri-City net for a 4-2 lead.

After a timeout call by Americans head coach Stu Barnes, pulling Suchanek from the goal, Zac Funk fired the puck into an empty net to ice the victory, his second of the game. Bauer Dumanski added insult to injury, also collecting his second of the contest with just 1:12 remaining.

Tri-City opened the scoring for the fourth time this series as Jake Sloan shot the puck from just outside the Cougars face-off circle, where it fooled goaltender Ty Young and went into the net.

PG picked up the slack in the middle frame as Funk accepted a cross-ice feed from Riley Heidt along the neutral zone, snuck in on a partial breakaway, making no mistake on his shot. Nine minutes later, a strong cycle play from Fisher O’Brien led to a one-time blast by Brown that was blocked in the slot, luckily, the puck boomeranged to Dumanski who wired a slap shot past the glove of Suchanek for a 2-1 edge.

Less than two minutes later, former Kamloops Blazer Reese Belton drove towards the Cougar goal and neatly deflected a point blast by Alex Serraglio to even the score heading into intermission.

When the final buzzer sounded, PG outshot Tri-City 34-28 and were unsuccessful during their lone power-play opportunity. The Americans on the other hand, went 0-for-2.

Young, who made 32 saves in the win in place of the injured Tyler Brennan earned the third star while Brown was named the first star.

To top it all off, Cougar fans packed the Canadian Brewhouse to capacity over the last three road games.

Photo supplied by Brendan Pawliw, staff

Cougars in-game host extraordinaire and director of corporate sponsorships Jessica Speziale, who engaged the crowd during these occasions told the atmosphere was top notch.

“The Cougars fans really came together, it was loud, it was rowdy, people brought their rally towels and we had chants going on. It was packed every single night. It was the best, best vibe. Cougars fans are in it to win it.”

Canadian Brewhouse general manager Lawrance Hormiz stated the watch parties exceed expectations.

“I was kind of nervous hosting the watch parties. I heard a lot about the Prince George Cougars and how it brings everybody together – it is great seeing the community come out tonight and I am really happy they got the W.”

Game six is set for Easter Sunday at 6pm from the CN Centre. As of the end of Friday, over 4,000 tickets have already been sold.

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