PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - Brett Connolly barely touched the puck on the play that gave the rookie the game-winning goal as the Prince George Cougars defeated the Portland Winter Hawks 3-2 in Western Hockey League action Monday.
While his team was short-handed, Connolly lined up for a faceoff in Portland's zone against Luke Walker, and Walker cleanly won the draw straight back at his own net and between the legs of Portland goaltender Ian Curtis.
The goal stood up as the difference as the Cougars (22-32-0-2) won for the third-straight home game.
Chris Francis and Stefan Schneider had the Portland goals, and Curtis, a former Cougar, finished with 25 saves. Portland (13-36-2-2) hasn't won a road game since Jan. 3.
Cameron Cepek, a former Winter Hawk, and Alex Poulter scored the other Prince George goals, and Kevin Armstrong blocked 32 shots for his 19th victory.
The Kelowna Rockets clinched a playoff spot with Portland's loss.