Thunderbirds lose season opener to Cougars

The Prince George Cougars defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 5-2 Friday night at the CN Centre in Prince George, British Columbia in the season opening game for both teams.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Monday, September 22, 2008 2:45pm
  • News

The Prince George Cougars defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 5-2 Friday night at the CN Centre in Prince George, British Columbia in the season opening game for both teams.

These two teams were to meet again 7 p.m. Saturday, tonight, in the second game of the series.

Seattle took a 1-0 lead at 15:29 of the first period on a power-play goal by Jeremy Boyer. Lindsay Nielsen controlled the puck at the right point. Nielsen fed the puck low to Devon LeBlanc on the goal line to the left of the goal. LeBlanc drew the defense then fed puck to Boyer in front of the Cougars net. Boyer redirected the puck past Prince George goalie Keith Armstrong low.

Prince George outshot Seattle 10-3 in the first period.

Dale Hunt scored a power-play goal at 6:03 of the second period to the game 1-1. Cody Hobbs and Brian Matte had the assists.

Justin Maylan scored at 8:44 of the second to put the Cougars in front 2-1. Matte had the only assist on the goal.

Brett Connolly scored with 13 seconds left in the second period to put the Cougars in front 3-1. Dallas Jackson and Colby Kulhanek had the assists.

The Cougars outshot the T-Birds 17-7 in the second period and led 27-10 in total shots after two periods.

Parker Stanfield scored 11 seconds into the third period to give Prince George a 4-1 lead. Connolly and Art Bidlevskii had the assists.

Jackson scored a power-play goal at 6:11 of the third for Prince George’s fifth goal of the night. Connolly and Bidlevskii had the assists.

Boyer got a second power-play goal at 7:51 of the third. Prab Rai kept the puck in at the blue line along the right boards. He moved the puck forward to David Richard to create a three-on-one T-Birds break. Richard took a slap shot that rebounded to Nielsen in the crease. With Armstrong in front of him, Nielsen redirected the puck to Boyer to the left of the goal. Boyer put the puck into a empty net for the goal.

Prince George outshot Seattle 37-21 in the game.

Armstrong stopped 19 of 21 shots to get the win.

Seattle started Calvin Pickard in net and the rookie goaltender made 32 saves 37 on shots.

The first regular season home game is October 4 at KeyArena against the Spokane Chiefs at 7:05 p.m.

T-Birds season tickets are also currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T- Birds office at 425-869-7825. Purchasing a season ticket will ensure fans can attend both the home opener at the KeyArena on October 4 and the T-Birds first game in their new home, the Kent Events Center.


First period – 1, Seattle, Boyer 1 (LeBlanc, Nielsen), 15:29 (pp). Penalties – Edwards, Sea (high sticking), 2:59. Deagle, PG (hooking), 12:32. Jackson, PG (tripping), 15:51.

Second period – 2, Prince George, Hunt 1 (Hobbs, Matte), 6:03 (pp). 3, Prince George, Maylan 1 (Matte), 8:44. 4, Prince George, Connolly 1 (Jackson, Kulhanek), 19:47. Penalties – Jagow, Sea (interference), 1:43. Bench, Sea (too many men- served by Lockhart), 5:10. Acolatse, Sea (tripping), 10:59.

Third period – 5, Prince George, Stanfield 1 (Connolly, Bidlevskii), :11. 6, Prince George, Jackson 1 (Connolly, Bidlevskii), 6:11 (pp). 7, Seattle, Boyer 2 (Nielsen, Richard), 7:51 (pp). 8, Penalties – Stanfield, PG (tripping), :48. Hobbs, PG (hooking), 1:42. Parker, Sea (hooking), 4:06. Dillon, Sea (cross checking), 5:10. Acolatse, Sea (major-fighting), 6:14. Halladay, PG (major-fighting), 6:14. Deagle, PG (tripping), 6:46. Fleming, Sea (interference), 8:33. Hobbs, PG (roughing), 19:02. Deagle, PG (roughing), 19:02. Richard, Sea (slashing), 19:02. Parker, Sea (roughing), 19:20. Bidlevskii, PG (roughing), 19:20.

Shots on goal – Seattle 3-7-11 21. Prince George 10-17-10 37. Goalies – Seattle, Pickard 37 shots-32 saves (0-1-0-0); Prince George, Armstrong 21-19 (1-0-0-0). Power plays – Seattle 2-5; Prince George 2-7. Referee – Andy Thiessen, Brett Iverson. Linesmen – Nathan Van Oosten, Alex Teichroeb.

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