VANCOUVER - Cain Franson scored one goal and had three assists to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 5-3 win over Prince George Cougars at Pacific Coliseum on Sunday.
The loss snapped Prince George’s three-game winning streak and left its faint playoff hopes alive with just four games remaining in the regular season.
Aside from Franson’s heroics, the Giants — who extended their home winning streak to five games — also got goals from Thomas Foster, Jackson Houck, Dalton Sward and Jason Trott. Goaltender Payton Lee stopped 26 shots for his 14th win of the season.
Colin Jacobs led the way for the Cougars (21-39-8) with one goal and two assists and rookie Zach Pochiro chipped in with a goal and a helper.
Jordan Tkatch scored the other marker while goalie Mac Engel finished 26-31.
Vancouver (21-47-2) scored on its only power-play chance of the game as Prince George went 2-for-5 with the man advantage.
Foster opened the scoring for the Giants when he poked home the rebound off a Brett Kulak point shot at 6:33.
Vancouver had the momentum and it doubled its lead almost four minutes later when Houck netted his 23rd tally of the season after taking a neat assist from Taylor Vickerman.
The Cougars weren’t playing like the kind of team that is still on the prowl for a playoff spot and aside from the score, they were also outshot 13-6 in the first period.
But the visitors clawed their way back into the encounter when they capitalized on their fourth power-play opportunity of the day.
Vancouver 15-year-old Alec Baer took a penalty for high-sticking at 10:56 and Prince George reduced the deficit shortly after when a long-range shot from Pochiro was bundled into the net by Giants captain Wes Vannieuwenhuizen while he fell over in the crease.
Then just 1:33 later, Tkatch latched on to a Jacobs pass in the slot and went top-shelf over Lee to knot the game at 2-2.
Jacobs' second assist of the night gave him 50 points on the season.
Vancouver duly regained the lead on Franson’s power-play marker from in close at 14:41, capping the scoring in a feisty second period.
Prince George entered the third period with the extra man thanks to a boarding major assessed to Giants hard man Scott Cooke and the Cougars once again took advantage.
Pochiro unleashed from the top of the slot and it was tipped in by leading goalscorer Jacobs after just 34 seconds.
Prince George appeared to take control of the game but the Giants didn’t roll over.
Sward restored his team’s lead at 3:08 with a shot from the right face-off circle that somehow eluded Engel and went in at the far post before Trott secured the victory at 8:10.