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October 27, 2017 8:25 pm

Cougars and Blazers Battle Tonight

Saturday, November 5, 2016 @ 1:02 PM

Over the years the Prince George Cougars and Kamloops Blazers have created quite the rivalry. Of course there’s a mutual respect, but there’s an undeniable rivalry factor that exists between the two clubs and tonight marks the first of eight matchups between the two clubs during the 2016-17 regular season.




Record: 10-8-1-0

Road Record: 3-7

Goals For/Goals Against: 64 GF/45 GA

Power Play: 21.5% (8th in WHL)

Penalty Kill: 84.4% (4th in WHL)

Leading Scorers: Collin Shirley (19GP – 8G – 12A – 20PTS), Rudolfs Balcers (19GP – 9G – 9A – 18PTS), Nick Chyzowski (19GP – 7G – 11A – 18PTS)


Collin Shirley: The Blazers captain leads his team in scoring with 20 points in 19 games. Last season he torched the Cougars with eight goals and nine assists for 17 points in 10 games. He always seems to be a big factor when these two teams clash.

Rudolfs Balcers: Selected by the Blazers in the 2016 CHL Import Draft, Balcers, a San Jose Sharks prospect has stepped in nicely and has contributed nine goals and nine assists for 18 points in 19 games so far this season.


Joe Gatenby: With two goals and eight assists, Gatenby leads all Blazers blueliners offensively so far this season.

Ondrej Vala: The other Blazers import has chipped in with four goals from the back-end and is a team high +10.


Connor Ingram: The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect has been brilliant this season with his 8-6-1-0 record, 2.01 goals-against-average and .937 save percentage. But with the Canada Russia series looming, and with the fact that he played at home last night against Lethbridge, it might mean the Cougars see backup Dylan Ferguson tonight.


Depth: The Blazers can beat you with size, skill and speed. Once you get past their top three scorers, you still have to defend the likes of Deven Sideroff, Garrett Pilon, Matt Revel and Quinn Benjafield. Nobody defensively for the Cougars can afford to take the night off with this kind of fire power.




Record: 13-3-2-0

Home Record: 5-3-1-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 64 GF/48 GA

Power Play: 21.3% (9th in WHL)

Penalty Kill: 85.4% (3rd in WHL)

Leading Scorers: Brad Morrison (18GP – 7G – 13A – 20PTS), Jared Bethune (18GP – 6G – 11A – 17PTS), Jesse Gabrielle (12GP – 7G – 8A – 15PTS)


Jared Bethune: Is coming off a three point game Wednesday against the Medicine Hat Tigers. Last season against Kamloops he had five goals and five assists for 10 points in 10 games.

Brad Morrison: Was named to Team WHL’s roster for the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series earlier this week. It’s a deserving honor for Morrison who continues to lead the Cougars offensively with 20 points on the season.


Josh Anderson: Will suit up in game #100 for his WHL career tonight. 100 would have come a lot sooner for Anderson had injuries not plagued him last season. Anderson is going to be heavily counted on in the games to come, particularly with the lengthy suspension handed out to Sam Ruopp. He’ll likely get tasked with shutting down the likes of Collin Shirley, Matt Revel and Rudolfs Balcers tonight.


Ty Edmonds: Didn’t have his greatest outing of the season Wednesday against Medicine Hat but is still getting the nod tonight. He’s shown a great ability to bounce back from tough starts this season, and given some of the key absences in the Cougars lineup tonight, big things will be expected for their 20-year-old goaltender.


Step Up and Be Counted: With Sam Ruopp (suspension), Kody McDonald (suspension) and Colby McAuley (injury) missing from the lineup tonight, there will be plenty of opportunity for others to step up and be counted. Defensively it’s going to take a group effort to keep the Blazers guns silenced, and up front the Cougars are going to need ‘buy in’ from everybody if they want to get back into the win column.


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