Cougars Raise Championship Banner
Prince George, B.C. – It took 23 long seasons to achieve, but with a new ownership group intensely focussed on becoming champions of the Western Hockey League and beyond, the Prince George Cougars captured the first banner in their history in the 2016-17 season.
Friday night it was time to raise that banner as B.C. Division Champions to the rafters of CN Centre as the Cougars opened the 2017-18 WHL season at home against the Spokane Chiefs.
And, while the rink wasn’t full at the start of what is seen as a re-building year, the crowd that was on hand gave an enthusiastic ovation as the banner was raised prior to the opening face-off of Friday night’s game.
Cougars President Greg Pocock says “there is no fan base more deserving that the Prince George Cougars fans and we are thrilled to be able to share this historical moment with our players, staff, sponsors and, in particular, our fans.”
General Manager Todd Harkins says “last season we made history by winning the B.C. Division banner for the first time and to see that banner raised to the rafters is an emotional moment for everybody involved.”
Unfortunately the Cougars dropped their 2017-18 home opener before 3,833 fans by a score of 4 to 2. Spokane scored twice in the opening period, adding two more in the second on their way to the victory. Nikita Popugaev in the second and Ethan O-Rourke in the third took care of the scoring for Prince George.
The teams return to CN Centre at 7 tonight for the back end of the weekend doubleheader.
Usually the first home game of the year has around 5000 fans in attendence.
Perhaps the City’s celebration for those who helped with the evacuee situation on the same night pulled away some fans.
Maybe tonight’s numbers will be up.
Editor’s note: For clarification, the City’s “Thank You PG” party for those who helped with the wildfire evacuees this summer will be held today, from 4 pm to 9:30 pm at Canada Games Plaza.
Big free barbecue and everyone is welcome!
I was expecting more people as well, but a few factors may have hurt them a bit with attendance.. there is a few upset over the change to ticket prices, and still lots don’t know where to go online for tickets.. I have shared the new web site with lots who had no clue of the change to ticketsnorth.ca.
I’m guessing they didn’t give away nearly as many tickets for this year’s opener as they did last year.
Also the New Smoking Policy is Keeping People away – something about once you are in and if you leave you can not come back in — or something like that.
New seat pricing is also keeping people away.
Plus Losing on Opening Night will not help.
City expecting 5000 people at the Thank You Party-that’s where I will be.
Regular season banners are nice, but the fans are starving for a long playoff run. There have been far too few of those.
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