The Prince George Cougars gave up the first 13 shots on goal, scored from a bad angle to get a lead, then went toe-to-toe with the best team in the WHL's Western Conference.
It was a curious strategy that almost worked for the Cougars. Almost. Craig Cunningham's goal in overtime, a shot from the slot that snuck through the pads of Cougars goaltender Kevin Armstrong, led the Vancouver Giants to a 3-2 win over Prince George on Tuesday.
There was no quit in the Cougars this time - unlike last weekend, when many of the older members of the squad gave up in 8-2 and 9-1 losses. But a renewed effort couldn't stop the Giants from taking a commanding 3-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.
"We skated with them tonight, and I think we pretty much dictated the pace of the game," Cougars captain Cameron Cepek told the Prince George Citizen.
"We weren't too happy with our games in Vancouver and if we could, we'd definitely take them back and implement a few of the things we did tonight."
Elsewhere in the WHL it was: Swift Current 5 Medicine Hat 2; Brandon 4 Kootenay 3 (OT); Spokane 5 Seattle 1; Kelowna 3 Kamloops 2 (OT); and Saskatoon 3 Lethbridge 1.
At Prince George, B.C., Evander Kane and Nolan Toigo had the other Vancouver goals.
Tyler Halliday, who gave the Cougars their first lead of the series with a first-period marker, and Brian Matte had the Prince George goals.
Tyson Sexsmith stopped 31 shots for Vancouver, while Kevin Armstrong blocked 49 shots for Prince George.
Game 4 goes Wednesday night in Prince George.
Broncos 5 Tigers 2
At Medicine Hat, Alta., Justin Dowling scored twice and Michael Stickland had a goal and three assists to lead Swift Current over the Tigers.
Taylor Vause and John Negrin also scored for the Broncos, who lead the series 2-1.
Tyler Ennis and Zdenek Okal scored for the Tigers, who got a 32-save performance from goaltender Ryan Holfeld.
Wheat Kings 4 Ice 3 (OT)
At Cranbrook, B.C., Matt Calvert scored two goals, including the overtime winner as Brandon beat Kootenay.
Brayden Schenn and Matt Lowry also scored for Brandon, which leads the series 3-0.
Brayden McNabb, Kevin King and Tylan Stephens replied for Kootenay.
Chiefs 5 Thunderbirds 1
At Kent, Wash., Levko Koper scored twice and added a pair of assists to lead Spokane over Seattle.
Tyler Johnson, with two goals, and Stefan Ulmer also scored for Spokane, which leads the series 2-1.
Colin Jacobs replied for Seattle.
Rockets 3 Blazers 2 (OT)
At Kamloops, B.C., Cody Almond scored in overtime to give Kelowna a victory over the Blazers.
Jamie Benn also scored for Kelowna, which leads the series 3-0.
Seth Compton and Giffen Nyren scored for Kamloops.
Blades 3 Hurricanes 1
At Lethbridge, Alta., Derek Hulak scored the winning goal and added an assist as Saskatoon beat the Hurricanes.
Milan Kytnar and Adam Chorneyko also scored for Saskatoon, which leads the series 2-1.
Austin Fyten replied for Lethbridge.