Preview: Cougars at Tri-City Americans
Tonight in Kennewick, WA the Prince George Cougars have the chance to become the first team in the WHL to reach the 10 win mark when they take the ice against the Tri-City Americans. The Cougars are coming off a 3-2 come-from-behind victory Friday over the Seattle Thunderbirds and will now look to become the first team this season to hand the Ams a loss on home ice.
Home Record: 4-0-0-0
2015-16 Record VS PG: 3-1-0-0 (2-0 at home)
Goals For/Goals Against: 31 GF/28 GA
Power Play: 40.6% (1st in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 74.3% (14th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Michael Rasmussen (8 GP – 10G – 3A – 13 PTS), Parker Wotherspoon (6GP – 2G – 9A – 11 PTS), Morgan Geekie (8 GP – 2G – 8A – 10 PTS).
Head Coach: Mike Williamson
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Michael Rasmussen: Leads the WHL in goals with 10. Had two goals and an assist last night in a 4-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. The draft eligible forward is off to a great start and his NHL draft stock should only continue to rise as the season progresses.
Tyler Sandhu: Has a goal and seven assists through his first eight games this season. Last season he led all active Ams players with five points against the Cougars.
WHO’S ON D:
Parker Wotherspoon: The New York Islanders prospect is tied for the WHL lead for scoring among defencemen with two goals and nine assists (11 points). He’s a great skater with a deceptive shot and he’s a major reason why the Ams power play is ranked number one in the WHL clicking at over 40 percent.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Rylan Parenteau: Made his Tri-City Americans debut last night and helped lead the Ams to a 4-2 victory over the Blazers. He made 28 saves on the 30 shots faced and upped his overall record to 2-1. Does he get the nod again tonight? Or does backup Beck Warm get the tap on the back given it’s the second game in as many nights for the Americans.
Power Play: The Tri-City power play is clicking at 40.6 percent, which is far and away the best percentage in the WHL. This team is deadly on the power play and will make you pay if given too many chances. Special teams have played a big role in many of the Cougars games as of late, and tonight could be no exception.
PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS
Road Record: 5-0-0-0
2015-16 Record vs. TC: 1-3-0-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 40 GF/28 GA
Power Play: 23.5% (8th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 90.7% (1st in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Brad Morrison (11 GP – 4G – 10A – 14PTS), Jared Bethune (11 GP – 5G – 6A – 11 PTS), Kody McDonald (11 GP – 4G – 7A – 11 PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Jesse Gabrielle: Had a goal and an assist last night to help pace the Cougars to victory. He now has four goals and three assists for seven points in five games. Gabrielle has been especially effective on the power play as six of his seven points have come with the man advantage.
Kody McDonald: Had the shootout winner last night in the fourth round against Seattle. He has four goals and seven assists for 11 points through 11 games and continues to provide the Cougars with strong offensive depth.
WHO’S ON D:
Tate Olson: Added another assist to his stat totals last night and continues to lead the Cougar blueliners offensively with a goal and five assists (six points). Olson provided some big minutes for the Cougars last night in Seattle, and is continuing to show that he can be trusted both offensively and defensively in all situation. Look for him to be given a lot of additional minutes tonight as well.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Ty Edmonds/Nick McBride: Does Richard Matvichuk continue his trend of Ty Edmonds on Friday and Nick McBride on Saturday? Or does Ty warrant another start given his success last night and his overall success to start the season? Richard Matvichuk has yet to reveal who his starter will be tonight for the Cougars in Kennewick, WA.
Energy: Tonight the Cougars are playing their fourth game in five nights and have dealt with some fairly extensive travel in the process. This is nothing new for the Cougars and they have done a great job so far during this season of not letting travel affect them negatively. Tonight they’ll need discipline, timely saves and clutch scoring and it all stems from being energized and inspired from the success from a night ago.