The Prince George Cougars improved their WHL playoff chances on Saturday with a 6-5 shootout win in Portland over the Winterhawks.
Zach Pochiro scored the only goal for either team in four rounds of shootout, with Ty Edmonds stopping all four Portland shots.
The Cougars have three games left in the regular season, all against their division rivals, the Kamloops Blazers. The teams play at CN Centre on Wednesday and Friday, then go to Kamloops for the season finale on Saturday.
After weekend action, the Cougars are in third place in the B.C. Division with 63 points, two ahead of Kamloops and eight ahead of the Vancouver Giants. If the Cougars maintain their hold on third in the division, they will get one of the automatic spots in the playoffs. Three teams from both the B.C. and U.S. divisions qualify for the Western Conference playoffs, as well as two wild-card teams with the most points.
The Spokane Chiefs have locked up the first wild-card berth, as they have 72 points. The Tri-City Americans are the other team in the equation, as they are currently fifth in the U.S. Division with 61 points.
Tri-City has a game in hand on both the Cougars and Blazers, and will make up that game Tuesday when they visit Seattle. They finish with three games in three days on the weekend, as they host Portland on Friday and Spokane on Saturday before travelling to Portland on Sunday to finish the regular season.
Game times for the games Wednesday and Friday at the CN Centre are 7 p.m. each night.