Tuesday Tilt Sees Cougars Host Pats
Ordinarily a Tuesday night game in late November might not register at the forefront of people’s minds. Tonight though it’s different.
Tonight in Prince George the league leading Prince George Cougars welcome the Eastern Conference leading Regina Pats to town for what will be the lone meeting of the regular season between the two clubs.
Up to this point the Cougars and Pats have shined brighter than the rest and have earned the right to call themselves the best up to this point of the regular season. It’s far too early to call tonight’s game a championship preview, but there’s no denying that both teams are very serious about playing hockey in May of 2017. Tonight we get a glimpse of two of the elite teams in the WHL when the Cougars and Pats duke it out.
Road Record: 7-1-0-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 115 GF/65 GA
Power Play: 31.3% (2nd in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 79.8 (8th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Sam Steel (18GP – 17G – 24A – 41PTS), Adam Brooks (14GP – 8G – 24A – 32PTS), Connor Hobbs (18GP – 10G – 18A – 28PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Adam Brooks: The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect has recorded at least a point in all 14 of the games he’s played in this season. Last season he led the WHL with 120 points, and so far this season he’s ripping it up with 32 points in just 14 games.
Sam Steel: The 18-year-old Anaheim Ducks prospect leads the WHL in scoring right now with 41 points in just 18 games played. Steel sits third in league goal scoring and is looking good to secure a spot on Canada’s World Junior team come December.
WHO’S ON D:
Chase Harrison: The only player with a longer active point streak than Adam Brooks his 20-year-old defenceman Chase Harrison. The pride of Winnipeg, MB has at least a point in 15 straight games and comes into tonight with five goals and 20 assists in 20 games.
Connor Hobbs: The Washington Capitals prospect sits third in team scoring with 28 points in 18 games. He also recently represented Team WHL at the Canada Russia Series and is another strong candidate to secure a spot on Canada’s blueline for the upcoming World Juniors.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Tyler Brown: The 19-year-old is 9-1-2-0 this season with a 3.43 goals-against-average and an .887 save percentage. He will likely get the nod tonight as his younger counterpart Jordan Hollett sustained an injury in Vancouver Sunday and might not dress tonight for the Pats.
Power Play: If you take penalties against the Pats you will pay. It’s that simple. The Pats are clicking at a 31.3 percent success rate on the man advantage. There is way too much fire power on this Regina squad to give them unnecessary chances.
PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS
Home Record: 7-3-1-0
Goals For-Goals Against: 85 GF/58 GA
Power Play: 20.0% (10th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 86.4% (2nd in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Brad Morrison (22GP – 9G – 16A – 25PTS), Jared Bethune (23GP – 9G – 12A – 21PTS), Jansen Harkins (17GP – 4G – 17A – 21PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Colby McAuley: Has now registered four goals in his past three games and now has eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points on the season. McAuley and his new linemates Josh Curtis and Aaron Boyd continue to draw praises from the coaching staff for all of the right reasons.
Jansen Harkins: Brings a six game assist streak into tonight’s game and has also recorded at least a single point in 13 of his past 14 games. Over that span, Harkins has four goals and 13 assists for 17 points.
WHO’S ON D:
Brendan Guhle: The Buffalo Sabres prospect makes his Cougars debut tonight against a team that he’s more than familiar with. The former PA Raider is a game-changer and tonight he’ll look to make a strong first impression with his temamates.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Ty Edmonds: Has won his last three games and has put together an impressive record of 13-2-1-0 with a 2.11 goals-against-average and a .928 save percentage with one shutout. He’s had a great start to the month of November and he’ll look to keep that trend going tonight against his toughest foe yet this season.
Discipline: The Cougars need to dictate the play tonight, which means they need to be the ones drawing penalties as opposed to taking them. Tonight’s game is no different than any other: Defense, special teams and goaltending are going to be the differences in the game.