Cougars To Close 2016 in Everett
Tonight in Everett it’s a battle of the top two teams in the Western Conference. On one hand you’ve got the Everett Silvertips who haven’t lost in regulation in their past five games and the team that finds themselves at the very top of the WHL standings. On the other side you’ve got the Prince George Cougars, a team looking to snap a modest two game losing streak, and a team looking to regain some swagger offensively after they’ve registered one goal on their previous 83 shots. But despite some recent struggles, the Cougars can still save face on their current road swing with a victory tonight against a team that they are 0-3 against up to this point in 2016-17.
Home Record: 17-2-1-0
Last Game: A 4-1 victory at home against Vancouver on Wednesday
Goals For/Goals Against: 121 GF/73 GA
Power Play: 22.8% (7th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 85.2% (3rd in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Patrick Bajkov (35GP – 18G – 28A – 46PTS), Dominic Zwerger (33GP – 16G – 25A – 41PTS), Kevin Davis (35GP – 3G – 25A – 28PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Patrick Bajkov: With points in 11 of his past 12 games, 19-year-old Patrick Bajkov has really come into his own as a bonafide offensive stud in the WHL. This season the pride of Nanaimo, B.C. leads all Everett shooters with 18 goals, 46 points and a +21 rating. During that recent 12 game stretch, Bajkov has registered nine goals and nine assists for 18 points.
Sean Richards: Despite only five goals and nine assists for 14 points, Richards has accumulated five of his points (one goal, four assists) against Prince George this season. Similar to the Cougars, Everett prides themselves on their depth in all areas, and Richards is a great example of secondary scoring on this Everett roster.
WHO’S ON D:
Kevin Davis: With three goals and 25 assists this season, Kevin Davis leads all Everett Blueliners offensively. He’s been especially potent on the power play netting 15 assists to go along with three of his six goals. The power play overall for Everett is very dangerous at 22.8 percent and Davis is a major reason why. The Cougars can expect a lot of Kevin Davis tonight particularly with Noah Juulsen absent as he plays for Canada at the World Juniors.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Mario Petit: Carter Hart’s backup is 8-1-2-0 this season with a very good 2.66 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .906. Petit hasn’t played against the Cougars at all this season and only made one appearance against the Cougars a season ago in relief. With Carter Hart at the World Juniors it would appear very likely that Mario Petit gets the call again tonight for Kevin Constantine.
Defense: No team in the WHL is as stingy defensively as the Silvertips. They’ve allowed a league low 73 goals against which is 26 fewer than both Kamloops and Prince George. Kevin Constantine’s club will wait in the weeds for you to make a mistake and then they’ll burn you in transition. The Cougars will need to be careful with the puck and very opportunistic with their chances when they come tonight in order to find success.
PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS
Road Record: 13-5-1-0
Last Game: A 3-0 loss Wednesday in Victoria against the Royals.
Goals For/Goals Against: 130 GF/99 GA
Power Play: 16.8% (17th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 88.5% (1st in WHL)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
The veterans: After the two Victoria games the Cougars coaching staff made it no secret that the Cougars top/older players need to be better. The veteran forwards have been called upon to produce more offensively and tonight should be a great test for their resolve as they face the stingy Silvertips.
WHO’S ON D:
The veterans: See above.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Ty Edmonds: Should get the nod tonight between the pipes. His last outing was less than stellar on Tuesday when he went 19-for-24, but he’s done a great job at bouncing back this season after tough losses and tonight should be no exception. Edmonds loves playing in Everett and seems to thrive in hostile buildings. It will be loud tonight.
Pride: The Cougars haven’t lost more than two in a row all season, and tonight they’ll look to keep that trend alive when they face the Silvertips. In that same breath the Cougars are 0-3 against Everett and you can bet that the guys don’t feel good about that stat either. Pride will be the name of the game tonight for the Cougars as they look to close the book on 2016 with one more victory.
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