Cougars – Oil Kings, Round Two
Welcome to junior hockey where every new night brings a new adventure.
Last night at Rogers Place the Cougars avenged a Friday loss in Red Deer with a commanding 11-3 victory over a young Edmonton Oil Kings team. Nine players had multi-point games, only four skaters went without a point and frankly it was a much-needed breakout game offensively for a Cougars team that has been reeling a bit as of late, despite going 7-2-1-0 in their last 10. Today at 3 PM local time these two teams will meet again, and in all likelihood today’s game is going to have a much different feel to it.
EDMONTON OIL KINGS
Home Record: 9-16-1-1
Last Game: An 11-3 loss to Prince George last night
Goals For/Goals Against: 145 GF/189 GA
Power Play: 18.4% (15th in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 77.6% (13th in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Davis Koch (49GP – 12G – 38A – 50PTS), Trey Fix-Wolansky (48GP – 13G – 22A – 35PTS), Tyler Robertson (43 – 13G – 15A – 28PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Tyler Robertson: The 20-year-old led the way last night with two goals for the Oil Kings and with his two-point effort he’s officially set a new season high for points in a season for himself. As a veteran of the WHL it’s important for the likes of Robertson to maintain a sense of positivity when things aren’t going well. When times are tough you look to your veterans and today serves as a great opportunity for Robertson to lead the way again.
Davis Koch: Had an assist last night and is still the only Oil King clicking at a point-per-game this season. Like Robertson he, as a veteran of this team will be counted on to come back with a much better effort this afternoon in today’s rematch.
WHO’S ON D:
Will Warm: Had the first goal of the game for Edmonton which puts him at eight for the season. The rookie defenceman showed a lot of poise despite a tough result last night, and was deserving of the big minutes that he seemed to log in all situations. Don’t be shocked if the Cougars get a steady diet of #4 Will Warm again tonight. He’s got a bright future ahead of him in the game.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Patrick Dea?: Patrick Dea has played over 100 games in the WHL. He’s a good goaltender who’s won some big games for Edmonton over the years. Last night simply put: Just wasn’t his night. Assuming he gets the nod today after getting yanked before the third period, you can absolutely expect a better effort tonight. Steve Hamilton could also decide to go with rookie Josh Dechaine..
Pride: How will this young team respond after their 10th straight loss? How will this young group come back after an 11-3 set-back at home in front of a big crowd? It’s going to be an angry, aggressive Oil Kings team today and the Cougars better be prepared for it.
PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS
Road Record: 19-7-2-0
Last Game: An 11-3 victory last night in Edmonton
Goals For/Goals Against: 185 GF/146 GA
Power Play: 17.4% (2oth in WHL)
Penalty Kill: 84.3% (2nd in WHL)
Leading Scorers: Nikita Popugaev (52GP – 24G – 35A – 59PTS), Jansen Harkins (46GP – 15G – 38A – 53PTS), Brad Morrison (51GP – 20G – 28A – 48PTS)
WHO’S UP FRONT:
Colby McAuley: Led the way last night for the Cats with two goals and two assists. The native of Sherwood Park, AB now has 18 goals and 41 total points for the season up to this point, which is 11 points beyond his previous season high for points. He does a little bit of everything for the Cougars and has been a valuable contributor in all areas to their success this season.
Jansen Harkins: Became the all-time assists leader for the Prince George Cougars last night with a three assist effort. Now with 154 assists for his career, Harkins can set his sights on becoming the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. he’s 17 points shy of Chase Witala’s record and he’s got 20 more games to try and get there.
WHO’S ON D:
Josh Anderson: Snapped a 68-game goal scoring drought with a third period goal last night. It was a nice coupe for Anderson who has worked hard in the defensive zone all season. He’s got a very good shot and perhaps the floodgates will now open for him and he can chip in a little more offensive down the stretch. Either way it was great to see him rewarded.
Sam Ruopp: The Cougars captain finished last night’s game with two assists and a +5 rating. The captain logged big minutes in all situations and he’ll be looking for more of the same here today.
WHO’S IN GOAL:
Ty Edmonds?: Despite the fact that Nick McBride has won his last four starts it would appear as though Ty Edmonds would be the favorite to start here today. Edmonds is 25-10-1-0 with a 2.46 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage. He’s been stuck at 94 career wins for awhile now so it would surely be nice for him to get that record-tying victory tonight so he can put it at the back of his mind heading into the month of February.
Do Not Get Complacent!: Today’s game will be anything but easy. If the Cougars under estimate the Oil Kings, they will be humbled quickly. The Cougars need to approach today’s game with the same type of intensity and ferocity that they showed through 60 minutes last night. If they do that, they’ll be successful.