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October 27, 2017 8:57 pm

Cougars vs. Rockets Preview

Friday, September 30, 2016 @ 3:11 PM

cougarsTonight in Prince George, the Cougars kick off the home portion of their schedule with their highly anticipated home opener ( see previous story) So far, so good for the Cougars who are 4-0 on the season after rattling off four consecutive victories on the road. The players are excited, the fans are ecstatic, and it’s time to get WHL hockey back in the CN Centre, new scoreclock and all.




Record: 1-2-0-0 (o-1 VS. PG)

2015-16 Record Vs. PG: 6-2 (3-1 in PG)

Road Record: 0-1

Goals For/Goals Against: 8GF/12GA

PP: 3/16 (18.8 percent. 11th)

PK: 14/21 (66.7 percent. 17th)

Head Coach: Jason Smith


Dillon Dube: Returns to the Rockets lineup  tonight after his stint with the Calgary Flames. Last season he had 26 goals and 40 assists for 66 points in 65 games. In eight games against PG last year he had six goals and seven assists for 13 points.

Calvin Thurkauf: Returns to the Rockets lineup after attending his first training camp with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Last season Thurkauf posted 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points in his first season in the WHL.


Lukas Johansen: Returns to the Rockets lineup after attending his first NHL Training Camp with the Washington Capitals. Last season he led all Rockets defenders with 10 goals and  49 points. He’s among the fastest and most poised defencemen in the entire WHL and makes their power play instantly better.


Michael Herringer: Was the hard-luck loser Wednesday against the Cougars. He made 24 saves on 26 shots faced and went tic-for-tat with Ty Edmonds. Herringer’s 1-2 record is complimented by a .900 save percentage and a 2,92 goals-against-average.


Experience: The Kelowna Rockets are used to big games and big crowds. That’s what happens when you are a contender year after year. They won’t be afraid of the moment or the atmosphere presented tonight in Prince George and it’ll no doubt be their intention to silence the crowd and quiet them down early.




Record: 4-0-0-0 (1-0 VS KEL)

2015-16 Record Vs. KEL: 2-5-0-1 (1-3 in PG)

Home Record: N/A

Goals For/Goals Against: 17GF/8GA

PP: 1/18 (5.6 percent. 17th)

PK: 22/23 (95.7 percent. 6th)

Head Coach: Richard Matvichuk


Jared Bethune: Leads the WHL with nine points in just four games. He’s recorded multi-point games in each of his past three games and he’s been the Cougars most dominant forward. Is there a more deserving candidate for WHL Player of the Month? He and his linemates Colby McAuley and Justin Almeida have found some strong chemistry and will look to continue that into the weekend.

Yan Khomenko: Scored his first goal as a Cougar Wednesday in Kelowna and looks very confident skating alongside Aaron Boyd and Josh Curtis. His transition from Everett to Prince George has been seamless and he’ll look to continue his strong play this weekend.


Sam Ruopp: Returns to the Cougars tonight after a lengthy stint in Columbus with the Blue Jackets. He’s been the emotional leader for this team for the past two years and there’s no denying the positive and physical impact that he brings to the team and the game night in and night out.


Ty Edmonds: If Jared Bethune is the front-runner for WHL Player of the Month, then perhaps Ty Edmonds should be looked at as the September goaltender of the month. With a 3-0 record, a 1.67 goals-against-average and a .947 save percentage, Edmonds was the winning netminder Wednesday and he’ll look to keep that momentum moving positively into tonight.


The Crowd: There’s no louder rink in the Western Hockey League than the CN Centre when it’s full and tonight there should be an awesome crowd on hand – The Cougars deserve it. But with that said, the Cougars need to make sure they don’t get too caught up in the fanfare and excitement of the evening. Bottom line is: There’s a game to win, and that will undoubtedly be the primary focus for Richard Matvichuk’s crew tonight.



The Cougars played an excellent game! They put in a full 60 minute effort! Nice to see the incredible degree of discipline displayed by our boys! This will take them a long way this year!

Go Cats Go!

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