After filing my story and posting my blog following Friday night’s game, I immediately thought to myself that tonight’s game was the classic letdown scenario. Everett was coming off a huge emotional victory over Portland, and the next night saw the Prince George Cougars come to town. Prince George seems an easy team to overlook, considering its lack of success in recent years. But the Cougars are just dangerous enough to snatch one away from a good team, if that team isn’t looking.
It turns out that’s exactly how things played out. Everett didn’t play a complete clunker — the Tips still outshot the Cougars 35-17. However, Everett showed a special level of sharpness during the first two periods against Portland on Friday, and that sharpness just wasn’t there tonight.
Everett still came out strong at the start. The Tips controlled play in the first period, outshooting the Cougars 15-3 and creating several good scoring chances. However, Everett wasn’t able to turn any of that puck possession into goals, and that really did the Tips in. Prince George picked up its game from the beginning of the second period, and Everett was no longer able to impose its will on the contest.
Everett not scoring in the first period was a huge factor in this game. It gave the Cougars the opportunity to regroup and get back on equal footing to start the second.
First star: Brett Zarowny, Prince George. 34 saves, did his best work in the first period when the Tips created several scoring chances.
Second star: Troy Bourke, Prince George. One goal, it was highlight-reel quality and it snapped a 1-1 tie late in the third period.
Third star: Jujhar Khaira, Everett. No points, but drew penalties because of his strength on the puck.
The Herald’s honorable mention: Chase Witala, Prince George. Two goals, including the late empty netter that sealed it.