Preview: Cougars Host Americans
The Prince George Cougars are about to play a ton of hockey in a fairly short amount of time. Tonight at home the Cougars kick off a stretch of four games in five nights in three cities. The task at hand tonight and tomorrow: The Tri-City Americans, a team that currently ranked second in the US Division. They are loaded with offense and have not been a easy foe for the Cougars in recent seasons. So far in their home stand the Cougars are 3-2 and a pair of victories would sure put them in a good frame of mind heading into their final road trip before the break.
Road Record: 8-6-1-0
Last Game: A 4-3 victory at home Saturday over the Victoria
Goals For/Goals Against: 121 GF/116 GA
Power Play: 30.3% (1st in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 83.7% (5th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Morgan Geekie (33GP – 16G – 24A – 40PTS), Michael Rasmussen (33GP – 22G – 16A – 38PTS), Tyler Sandhu (33GP – 8G – 30A – 38PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Morgan Geekie: The 18-year-old has five goals in his past four games and leads all Tri-City skatesr with 40 points for the season. Geekie has already surpassed his offensive totals from last season. It’s worth noting that nine of Geekie’s 16 goals have come via the power play.
Michael Rasmussen: This guy is a legit first-round NHL talent. He’s got 22 goals in 33 games this season which puts him third in league goal scoring. 11 of his 22 goals have come via the power play.
WHO’S ON D:
Parker Wotherspoon: The New York Islanders prospect has put forth another strong offensive campaign. With five goals and 24 assists he’s racked up 29 points in 30 games this season which puts him second on the team in scoring among defencemen. The only player with more points is Juuso Valimaki who won’t play this week because he’s at Finland’s World Junior try-out.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Rylan Parenteau: The 20-year-old has started the most games among the three available Tri-City goaltenders. In 18 appearances this season, Parenteau is 11-6-1-0 with a 3.60 goals-against-average and a .897 save percentage. His backup(s) are 18-year-old Beck Warm and 19-year-old Evan Sarthou.
Power Play: If you take penalties against the Tri-City Americans, you will pay. Their power play was three-for-five against Victoria last Saturday and sits tops in the WHL at 30.1 percent. Discipline against these Americans is going to be paramount for Prince George.
PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS
Home Record: 11-5-1-0
Last Game: A dramatic 6-4 victory Saturday over Seattle
Goals For/Goals Against: 115 GF/84 GA
Power Play: 16.5% (18th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 87% (1st in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Jansen Harkins (26GP – 6G – 26A – 32PTS), Jesse Gabrielle (26GP – 19G – 12A – 31PTS), Brad Morrison (31GP – 13G – 18A – 31PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Josh Curtis: Led all Cougars with three points Saturday against Seattle. The first of his two goals that night counted as the Teddy Bear goal and then his second one sealed the game as an empty-netter. In 27 games this season Curtis has now registered five goals and 12 assists for 17 points and is a +16.
Jesse Gabrielle: Leads the Cougars with 19 goals. Earlier this week the Boston Bruins signed him to a three year entry-level contract. One has to think that signing an NHL contract is going to really help his confidence as the season progresses.
WHO’S ON D:
Brendan Guhle: The Cougars newest addition has been nothing short of brilliant during his short time with the team. He has five goals in five games since joining the Cougars and scored a goal with 12 seconds remaining in Saturday’s game with the Seattle to lift the Cougars back ahead after they coughed up a 4-2 lead in the third period.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Ty Edmonds: Looks to get the start tonight after he backed up Nick McBride during Saturday’s win. Edmonds season continues to go well with a 17-5-1-0 record. His 2.13 goals-against-average is complimented nicely by a .925 save percentage and one shutout.
Special Teams: On the defensive side they need to stay composed and disciplined against a phenomenal Tri-City power play clicking at 30 percent. On the flip side they need to get their power play on track. It’s one for it’s last 27 opportunities.