Preview: Cougars vs Giants
After a very busy start to the Cougars season, this week (by comparison) has felt somewhat subdued. On the ice, the Cougars have been hard at work, fine tuning their game ahead of the weekend. Off the ice, there’s been a growing excitement. That’s what a 6-0 start and a top national ranking will do for a city. But despite national rankings, and an undefeated start to their season, the Cougars are all business and need only be concerned about the task at hand tonight and tonight alone.
Record: 1-5-0-0 (0-1 Vs. PG)
Road Record: 0-1
2015-16 Record Vs. PG: 2-5-0-1 (2-1-0-1 in PG)
Goals For/Goals Against: 17 GF/25 GA
PP: 4.8% (20th in WHL)
PK: 73.7% (14th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Dawson Holt (2G, 4A, 6PTS), Brendan Semchuk (3G, 1A, 4PTS), Radovan Bondra (3G, 1A, 4PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Dawson Holt: The 17-year-old Saskatoon native leads the team in scoring and has recorded an assist in each of his past two games. Considering he had eight assists in 40 games a season ago, he’s on pace to obliterate his previous season high for points.
Tyler Benson: Has only appeared in one game, but the Edmonton Oilers prospect is now healthy and ready to make a big impact. After appearing in just 30 games last season, Benson should be poised to be a point-per-game player (and then some) in 2016-17.
WHO’S ON D:
Darian Skeoch: The 18-year-old is known for his toughness but has also posted three assists in four games this season. He provides a menacing presence on the back-end and will likely be tasked with defending the Cougars top forwards tonight and throughout the weekend.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Ryan Kubic: It hasn’t been the easiest start to the season for 18-year-old Ryan Kubic who heads into the weekend with a 1-4 record, a 4.26 goals-against-average and an .862 save percentage. Last season Kubic posted a 2-2-0-1 record in six appearances against the Cougars.
Alec Baer/Ty Ronning: These two veteran forwards combined for eight goals and 18 points against the Cougars a season ago. Baer led all Giants with four goals and six assists in seven games played while Ronning added four goals and four assists. Neither one played on September 28th when the Cougars defeated Vancouver 7-6.
PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS
Record: 6-0-0-0 (1-0 VS. Vancouver)
Home Record: 2-0-0-0
2015-16 Record Vs. VAN: 6-2-0-0 (2-2 in PG)
Goals For/Goals Against: 24 GF/10 GA
PP: 15.1% (13th in WHL)
PK: 96.8% (2nd in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Jared Bethune (5G, 5A, 10 PTS), Colby McAuley (4G, 5A, 9PTS), Brad Morrison (2G, 7A, 9PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Jared Bethune : Comes into tonight’s game with the second most points in the entire WHL: Five goals, five assists. He recorded his first career WHL Hat-trick back on September 27th against the Vancouver Giants. He’s also the top plus-minus guy in the entire WHL with a +10 rating.
Brad Morrison: Has recorded at least a point in five of the six games to start the season for the Cougars. Last weekend he had two goals Friday and an assist Saturday as the Cougars swept the Kelowna Rockets. Tonight Morrison will skate alongside Jansen Harkins and Jesse Gabrielle, which could prove to be a deadly combo for the Cougars if all three are going at their best.
WHO’S ON D:
Max Martin: The 17-year-old for Winnipeg, MB leads all Cougars defenders with two goals, three points and is a +8. He’s been very consistent and very reliable in the early stages of the season for the Cougars and he’ll look to have another impact weekend starting tonight.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Ty Edmonds: Will get the start tonight and will look to snag his league leading fifth victory. So far Edmonds has been dynamite posting a 4-0 record with a 1.47 goals-against-average and a .946 save percentage. So far this season he is 1-0 against Vancouver.
Jesse Gabrielle/Jansen Harkins: Both players got into NHL preseason games, and both look to figure prominently in the Cougars success this season. Gabrielle is the sniper and he is looking to match or surpass the 40 goals he reached last season. Harkins is the playmaker, and he’ll look to rediscover his form from 2014-15 where he set a brand new single season assists record for the Prince George Cougars with 59. These two found some awesome chemistry in the preseason, and I’d fully expect them to be impact players tonight against the Giants.