Listen Live

HomeNewsCougars penalty kill, timely goals lead to gritty win against Everett

Cougars penalty kill, timely goals lead to gritty win against Everett

Battered, bruised and down one of their most prolific forwards, the Prince George Cougars found a way to win ugly.

Terik Parascak, Bauer Dumanski and Zac Funk lit the lamp while rookie prodigy Josh Ravensbergen turned aside 28 shots leading the Cats to a gritty 3-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips on Monday in front of 2,178 fans at CN Centre.

Riley Heidt assisted on all three to up his points streak to 16 games.

Everett set the tone early with its top line consisting of imports Dominik Rymon, Julius Miettinen and Ben Hemmerling trapping PG in its own zone, only to be stymied by Ravensbergen.

- Advertisement -

The turning point in the game came late in the first when a precarious check by hard-hitting Silvertips blueliner Eric Jamieson crunched Heidt who was caught in an awkward position facing the boards.

Koehn Ziemmer took exception and dropped the gloves with Jamieson in the far corner.

On his way down, Ziemmer twisted his leg and needed to be helped off the ice by Athletic Therapist Mitchell Karapita. The 19-year-old from Mayerthorpe, Alberta didn’t return.

Ziemmer sustained a lower-body injury and went to the hospital for X-rays.

In the second, the pace of the game slowed to a crawl with a lot more clutching and grabbing – most of it initiated by the visitors in green.

At the 3:32 mark, Parascak capitalized on a loose puck, beating Everett goaltender Tyler Palmer for a one-goal lead.

The rest of the second resembled more of an early season rodeo, which led to understandable vitriol being shown towards the officiating duo of Adam Forbes and Kevin Webinger by the CN Centre faithful.

“They’ve changed some standards (the WHL) in the rules and stuff like that so it’s really hard to get everybody on the same page. Those sticks that are getting knocked out of hands they are not supposed to call those like that anymore and that is where the frustration sets in,” said Mark Lamb, Cougars head coach and general manager.

Everett had a late push towards the end of the second as a pair of point-blank shots by Kaden Hammell were turned away by Ravensbergen.

PG received an early test in the third killing off a pair of questionable minors to Jett Lajoie and Ondrej Becher.

“It won us the game. We have to do a lot of things better – we didn’t have our A game and I don’t think we even had our C game. We ended up winning, we will look at some stuff and prepare for tomorrow.” added Lamb.

Silvertips forward Jesse Heslop was turned aside twice on the second-man advantage the first attempt was stopped by Ravensbergen – the second by his best friend the goalpost.

Ravenbergen also stoned Hemmerling on a breakaway following an ill-advised pinch at the Everett blue line.

“It was a lot of fun out there. Goalie battle games are fun in the moment. I try not to think out there, just go out and win the game – that really helps and not really worry about anything else.” said Ravensbergen.

“In the summer, I trained with a lot of dub guys to get me ready for the season. It was a lot of fun to win on my birthday too.”

All of this on his 17th birthday where the North Vancouver product is now 8-1-0-0 on the year with a sparkling 1.89 goals against average and .934 save percentage – both of which rank in the top two of the Western Hockey League.

“He has been amazing and that is what he is. He doesn’t get rattled he just makes the saves who plays his position. He’s a great kid who is a joy to be around,” added Lamb.

Dumanski gave the Cougars some temporary breathing as his point shot floated past a screened Palmer for a 2-0 edge.

Dumanksi has three goals on the season, which have all been game-winners.

Less than a minute later, a misplay behind the Cougars’ goal by Ravensbergen and Hudson Thronton led to a fortunate bounce for Beau Courtney who shovelled the puck into the yawning cage, trimming the deficit to 2-1.

Everett head coach Dennis Williams elected to pull Palmer with just over two minutes remaining in favour of the extra attacker. However, Funk who accepted a pass from Parascak salted the game away with the empty netter.

PG outshot the Silvertips 32-29, and both teams went 0-for-2 on the power—play.

With the win, the Cougars improved to 18-6-0-0, two points up on the Wenatchee Wild for the top spot in the Western Conference. Everett falls to 16-10-1-0 and remains third in the conference.

The Silvertips, who are in the ultra-competitive US Division where no teams currently have a losing record have really had to scratch and claw for every point this season.

Head Coach and General Manager Dennis Williams believes that sentiment rings true for the entire Western Conference where there have been little to no free spaces on the bingo card.

“It’s tough. The whole conference is always difficult. Kudos to all the GMs and the coaches who all did a great job. We played Friday against Portland where we were down 3-0 in the first and won 6-3 then the next night we went into Kamloops and won in overtime – they played a good hard-nosed game and here we knew what we were getting into.”

“There are no easy nights and I think that is what’s great about playing in the Western Hockey League, coaches have to be sharp, and players have to be sharp also every game and that only gives you a chance to win the game because you still have to go out and execute.”

Former Cats forward Caden Brown who was dealt to the Tips in the offseason for Oren Shtrom did not play due to injury. In addition, Chetwynd’s Hayden Smith saw time on the Silvertips fourth line.

Smith has two points in 20 games split between Everett and Lethbridge.

The Silvertips are 1-1 on a five-game road swing, which also includes stops in Red Deer and Edmonton.

Prior to the game, long-time volunteers Lucille McClung and Carla Carlson were named the recipients of the WHL’s Distinguished Service Award.

McClung has been volunteering with the Cougars for more than 25 years, while Carlson has been volunteering for more than 15 years. Both work closely with Parker Hennebury (Manager of Game Operations for the Cougars), the City of Prince George liaisons, and Taylor Dakers (Prince George Cougars Director of Business) to deliver a great fan experience for all in attendance.

Both teams cap off the early week double-header tonight (Tuesday) at 7:00 from CN Centre.

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading