Cougars Look for Royal Sweep
Last night on home ice the Prince George Cougars prevailed in an ugly, penalty-filled contest against the Victoria Royals. Jesse Gabrielle (three goals) and Jansen Harkins (three assists) combined for six points and Ty Edmonds was steady in goal making 25 saves to lift the Cougars to their 20th victory of the season. All attention now shifts to the rematch as the Cougars will look to at the very least maintain their 11 point lead in the B.C. Division standings. The Victoria Royals have now dropped four straight but won’t be taken lightly as they try to get back on a winning path tonight in PG.
Road Record: 5-6-2-0
Last Game: 4-2 loss against Prince George last night.
Goals For/Goals Against: 92 GF/89 GA
Power Play: 18.6% (15th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 82.4% (6th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Matthew Phillips (27GP – 20G – 11A – 31PTS), Jack Walker (27GP – 13G – 16A – 29PTS), Dante Hannoun (29GP – 10G – 17A – 27PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Matthew Phillips: Scored one of Victoria’s two goals last night and was easily one of their most noticeable forwards through 60 minutes. Phillips is lightning fast and has a phenomenal scoring touch. Phillips currently finds himself in a four-way tie for second in league goal scoring and leads his team with 31 points.
Regan Nagy: The 19-year-old forward had the other goal for the Royals last night and has quietly put forth a strong season offensively. Considering last season he finished with 18 points total and he’s already managed 16 points in 28 games, Nagy is on pace to shatter his previous career highs in a number of areas.
WHO’S ON D:
Ryan Gagnon: The former Cariboo Cougar is now in his 20-year-old season and continues to provide steady dependable minutes for his team. Gagnon will never set the world on fire offensively, but he’s a great skater he defends well and is two games shy of surpassing Logan Fisher for the all-time games played record in a Victoria Royals uniform.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Griffen Outhouse: His record against the Cougars this season is now 0-3 after last night’s loss. He kept his team within reach stopping 26 of the 30 shots fired his way, and in usual Griffen Outhouse fashion made some saves that he had no business making – But a loss is a loss. That said, he’d be the odds on favorite to start tonight’s game for Victoria. His backup is Dylan Myskiw who is 0-3-1-0 this season.
Special Teams: The good news: Their penalty kill was six-for-six. The bad news: The power play was zero-for-nine. There’s more than enough fire power power on the Royals roster to make teams pay in a big way if they get power play chances. Last night simply wasn’t their night. Tonight they’ll look to get their power play on track when they face the Cougars in the rematch.
PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS
Home Record: 9-3-1-0
Last Game: A 4-2 home ice victory over Victoria last night.
Goals For/Goals Against: 101 GF/74 GA
Power Play: 17.9% (17th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 86.8% (1st in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Jansen Harkins (22GP – 6G – 23A – 29PTS), Jesse Gabrielle (22GP – 16G – 11A – 27PTS), Brad Morrison (27GP – 10G – 17A – 27PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Jesse Gabrielle: Paced the Cougars offense with three goals last night. He’s got eight goals in his last eight games and leads the team with 16 on the season. His hat-trick was the second of his Cougars career. He sits second in team scoring now with 27 points in 22 games played.
Jansen Harkins: He assisted on all three of Gabrielle’s goals and has now recorded 15 points in his last 11 games (13 of which have been assists). Consider this: He’s recorded at least a point in all but three of his games played this season.
WHO’S ON D:
Shane Collins: Don’t let his two goals and two assists in 28 games mislead you – Shane Collins is a gamer. He’s been outstanding for the Cougars all season and yesterday was a prime example again of Collins just doing the little things right. A good first pass, correct net coverage, shot-blocking. Every team needs players like Collins who can fly under the radar and get their work done. He’s been one of the Cougars most dependable players all season and last night was no exception.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Ty Edmonds: The Cougars 20-year-old continues to just go about his business helping his team to victories. His record is now 16-3-1-0 on the season with a 2.14 goals-against-average, a .924 save percentage and one shutout. Why fix what ain’t broke – The Royals are likely going to see Edmonds again tonight.
Special Teams: (See above). Nine for nine on the penalty kill is outstanding, but zero-for-six on the power play leaves something to be desired. Over their past 10 games the Cougars power play has gone five for 41. If the Cougars can get the power play going it’s only to serve as a greater benefit to them as they’ll look to hand the Royals a weekend sweep in Prince George.