KENNEWICK, Wash. - Jesse Forsberg, who spent as much time in the penalty box as he did on the ice, scored the game-winner in overtime to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 5-4 win Tuesday over the league-leading Tri-City Americans.
The Americans (49-19-4) are one point ahead of Edmonton in the race for the Scotty Munro trophy with 102 points. The Oil Kings have a game in hand.
Tri-City also has a two-point lead over Portland ? which also has a game in hand ? in a battle for the U.S. Division banner.
Prince George (23-45-2, 48 points) is three points behind eighth-place Victoria with two games left to play.
?The guys are battling and believing,? Cougars coach Dean Clark said. ?We played two really good games here. They have some great players, and for us to come in here and take one is nice.?
For the second consecutive game, the Cougars came out and challenged the Americans, and their hard work paid off.
Caleb Belter picked off a Patrick Holland pass and fed the puck to Spencer Asuchak, who put the puck over Rimmer?s shoulder at 3:06.
The Americans, who had to rally from a 3-1 deficit Sunday for a 5-3 win, wasted no time in getting back in the game.
Just six seconds into their first power play, the Americans evened the score with a goal by Adam Hughesman.
Back on the man advantage less than two minutes later, Brendan Shinnimin put the puck between Drew Owsley???s pads.
Shinnimin, who also assisted on Hughesman???s goal, ran his point streak to 21 games and leads the league with 131 points.
Malte Stromwall gave the Americans a 3-1 lead at 16:02, but Prince George would cut the deficit to 3-2 at 19:01 with a Troy Bourke goal.
The Cougars got goals from Linden Springer and Bourke in the second ??? both off Tri-City turnovers ??? to take a 4-3 lead.
???We made some mistakes and they capitalized,??? Tri-City coach Jim Hiller said. ???Give them credit, we played them four times and every time it was a one-goal game. Maybe they deserved one.???
Trailing 4-3 at the end of the second period, Hughesman tied the score at 4 at 3:52 of the third, but the Americans were unable to put the game away in regulation as Drew Owsley stopped 12 of 13 shots.