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Cougars come out on top of Americans in tight matchup

It was a grind but the Cougars picked up the 3-2 win over the Tri-City Americans last night. (Saturday)

4,431 fans at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington were treated to a tight game in the rematch of the first round of last year’s playoffs.

“I thought we did a good job of collectively trying to be a harder team to play against,” said Associate Coach Jim Playfair

“I thought we did some good things with the puck, I thought we outshot them, we got on top of them, we pushed them, and all five-guys on the ice worked in all three zones collectively together.”

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The Cougars barely out-shot the Americans 29-28.

Josh Ravensbergen got the start for the Cats, and made 26 saves.

Zac Funk opened the scoring on the Powerplay, with Riley Heidt and Ondrej Becher picking up assists.

Deagan McMillan scored for Tri-City to tie the game, with Cash Koch and former Cougar Carter MacAdams picking up the assist.

The second period was ultimately where things were decided, as the Cougars picked up a pair of goals.

Carlin Dezainde scored in the opening minute of the frame, with Terik Parascak and Keaton Dowhaniuk picking up assists.

Borya Valis extended the lead, with Funk and Heidt picking up assists.

With this second assist on the night, Heidt has 167 assists, putting him in a tie with Jansen Harkins for the most all-time by a Prince George Cougar.

Heidt is also two points away from tying Harkins’ all-time points record of 242.

Koch brought the Americans within one in the second period as well.

“I think collectively we were disappointed in the way we lost the game [Friday] night, so the preparation was a little bit more intense collectively as a group,” Playfair said.

“I think we put a lot more focus on how we had to play our game, we didn’t spend a whole lot of time on what they do, I think we educate them a little bit on the benefit of focusing on doing things right.”

The Cougars (31-14-0-1) are in a three-way tie points wise for the lead in the WHL’s Western Conference with the Portland Winterhawks (30-11-2-1) and the Everett Silvertips (30-15-1-2).

The full WHL standings can be found here.

The Cougars are back in action this afternoon against the Wenatchee Wild. (4:00 pm)

The full Cougars schedule can be found here.

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