They got the start they wanted, just not the result.
The Hitmen fell 7-1 Tuesday night to the Prince George Cougars, and have now lost five straight games to drop to 1-5-1 on the season, while the Cougars snapped a two-game losing streak to improve their record to 3-3-2.
After no scoring in the first period, five goals would find the back of the net in the middle frame which ended up being the difference maker.
Kody McDonald scored a hat-trick including the first and last goals of the game while Vladislav Mikalchuk, Jared Bethune, Josh Maser and Aaron Boyd rounded off the scoring for the home side. Rookie goaltender Taylor Gauthier made 16 saves to record his first career WHL win against his hometown team.
Matteo Gennaro scored the lone Hitmen goal, to give him six on the year. Nick Schneider made 14 saves before being replaced by Matthew Armitage after 40 minutes, Armitage made 13 saves in relief.
The Cougars jumped out to a fast start in the second period, scoring three straight goals before Gennaro would pull the Hitmen within two. The Hitmen seemed to find a spark from the goal but with just 6.2 seconds left in the period, Maser scored giving the Cougars momentum headed into the third.
The late goal lead to Prince George coming out of the gates firing and pushing the pace, firing 16 shots on goal while withholding the Hitmen to just two shots to ensure they skated away with the two points.
The Hitmen have a short turnaround to rebound from the loss, as they travel to Kamloops tomorrow night (8 p.m. MTN, WHL Live) to take on the Blazers who are winless on the season so far.
The game marks their second of a three game B.C. road swing, which concludes Friday night against the Kelowna Rockets.