iSight Optometry Recap: Top ranked Cougars comeback to take down Rockets
The Kelowna Rockets winless streak grew to nine with a 5-4 loss to the league-leading Prince George Cougars on Saturday night at Prospera Place.
The second-ranked team in the nation on the 2023-24 CHL Top-10 Rankings for week seven released on Tuesday, the Cougars came back from a 4-1 deficit by scoring four unanswered goals.
“We had that game pretty much sewn up,” said Rockets head coach Kris Mallette in his postgame interview. They scored late in the second period and obviously rode that momentum as the game wore on. I’m very disappointed.”
Up 4-2 heading into the final frame of the game, the Cougars pushed back in the third period with three goals, including a pair of power play goals.
“We talk about being a team but unfortunately the mistakes that we are making isn’t a team. Guys potentially cheating a zone or not taking a hit to make a play, that’s not a team that’s an individual that’s on their own page.”
Gabriel Szturc (8) skated out from the right corner, letting a shot go that beat Joshua Ravensbergen glove side high 36 seconds into the game.
While on the power play the Rockets made a bad change early into the second period, allowing Terik Parascak (20) to enter the zone alone and tuck the puck through Jake Pilon’s five-hole. On the same man advantage, Tij Iginla (16) restored the Rockets lead on a cross-ice feed from Szturc. Just over five minutes later Iginla (17) found the back of the net again, this time on a dish from Dylan Wightman. Just over two minutes later Szturc (9) unleashed a slap shot into the Cougars net. In the final minute of the second frame, Zac Funk found himself alone on a breakaway, from behind the net he found a trailing Koehn Ziemmer (8) to cut the Rockets lead in half heading into the final period.
Funk (18) then made it a one-goal game with a one-timer from the left faceoff dot while on the power play at 7:41. Unable to find the rebound in front of him, Parascak (21) poked the puck past Pilon to tie the game just past the midway point of the period. With Ben Thornton in the penalty box, the Cougars power play hit the ice where Ondrej Becher‘s shot dribbled past Pilon in the blue paint for Ziemmer (9) to tap into the net.