Cougars and Spokane tonight at CN Centre
Tonight at the CN Centre, the Prince George Cougars continue their four game home stand when they host Don Nachbaur’s Spokane Chiefs for the first time since December, 2015. The Cougars are 2-0 on their current home stand having earned back-to-back victories earlier this week against the Vancouver Giants. Tonight the Cougars will look to improve their unbeaten streak to three when they clash with Spokane Chiefs club who’s playing their third game of a four game B.C. Division road trip.
– Head Coach: Don Nachbaur
– Record: 29-25-5-4
– Road Record: 11-13-3-3
– Streak: 3L (0-2-0-1)
– Last 10: 3-4-1-2
– Record Against Prince George This Season: 1-1 (Both Games Played At Home)
– Record Against Prince George Over the Past Five Seasons: 12-4-1-1
– Playoff Push: Currently four points ahead of the Tri-City Americans for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Both teams have played 63 games. Only one point separates the fourth placed Chiefs from the third placed Portland Winterhawks who sit third in the US Division.
Who’s Up Front:
– Dominic Zwerger leads the Chiefs with 24 goals and is one of two players on the Chiefs who have 50-or-more points.
– Hudson Elynuik had two goals and three points in three games against the Prince George Cougars last season.
– Key injuries: Kailer Yamamoto (64 points), Wyatt Johnson (33 points), Jacob Cardiff (Had the Chiefs lone goal in their 1-0 victory over Prince George on Wednesday, February 24th).
Who’s on D:
– Tyson Helgesen logs big minutes in all situations. He has 22 points and is a -7 in 54 games this season for Spokane.
– Evan Fiala leads all Chiefs defencemen with a +18 rating. He left the game Wednesday with an injury and did not return.
– Key injury: Jason Fram, who has 11 goals and 44 points for the Chiefs through 52 games.
Who’s in Goal:
– Lasse Petersen is 1-1 against the Cougars this season. His victory was a 1-0 shutout on February 24th. The next night he surrendered five goals against.
– Tyson Verhelst was 1-0 against the Cougars last season with a 2.25 goals-against-average and a .950 save percentage.
– Desperation: Win and keep yourself four points ahead of Tri-City while also possibly surpassing Portland back into third in the US Division.
– Score: Just one goal in two games against the Cougars this season.
– Success at CN Center: 8-1-1 in their past 10 visits to Prince George.
Prince George Cougars:
– Head Coach: Mark Holick
– Record: 35-26-3-1 – Matching the second highest win total in Prince George Cougars franchise history.
– Home Record: 20-11-1-1
– Streak: 2W
– Last 10: 4-5-1-0
– Record Against Spokane This Season: 1-1 (Both Games played in Spokane)
– Record Against Spokane Over the Past Five Seasons: 6-12
– Playoff Push: Five points ahead of Kamloops for third in the B.C. Division and are a combination of four victories or four regulation Tri-City Americans losses away from officially clinching a playoff spot for a second straight season.
Who’s Up Front:
– Brad Morrison who has three goals, and four assists in his past four games.
– The dynamic duo of Chase Witala (38G, 34A) and Jesse Gabrielle (39G, 33A) are tied for the team lead in points with 72.
– With a goal tonight, Jesse Gabrielle would become the seventh Cougar ever to record 40 goals in a season. He’s also become the youngest as the previous six: Quinn Hancock, Todd Fiddler, Blair Betts, Eric Hunter and Brett Connolly were all order. Gabrielle and Connolly would be the only two to have ever reached that milestone during their 18-year-old season.
Who’s on D:
– Cougars captain Sam Ruopp leads the team with a +21 rating. Cougars are 2-0 with him back in the lineup since his upper body injury.
– The Cougars defensively as a whole held Spokane to just one goal against in two games last week on the road.
Who’s in Goal:
– Ty Edmonds has won his last two starts, including a 6-0 shutout victory against Spokane last Friday.
– Nick McBride is coming off a 24 save victory from Wednesday against the Giants. McBride only allowed one goal against in a tough 1-0 loss against the Chiefs back on the 24th of February.
– Both goalies have rotated games since February 12th vs. Kelowna.
– PK was 7/7 against the Chiefs in Spokane last week.
– Playing with the lead. The Cougars are 25-1 when leading after two periods of play.
– Protecting their home ice: The Cougars are 20-11-1-1 at home, they’re best record since 2006-07 where they ended up winning 21 games at home.
Did you Know:
– Chase Witala is now five points away from surpassing Troy Bourke (236 points) for the all-time lead franchise scoring lead. Witala comes into tonight’s game with 118 goals and 114 assists for 232 points.