Friday, September 30, 2011

Victoria 5 - Cougars 4 (Shootout)

The Prince George Cougars came back from two one-goal deficits and managed to earn one point in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Victoria Royals. Kevin Sundher and Robin Soudek scored in the shootout and goaltender Keith Hamilton made 47 saves in the victory for Victoria.

The Cats jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Jarrett Fontaine’s first ever WHL goal opened the scoring at 5:08 of the first period. A minute and 29 seconds later, Troy Bourke scored from behind the Victoria goal and gave Prince George a quick 2-0 lead.

Victoria bounced back with two of their own starting first with Logan Nelson’s second of the season. Robin Soudek added his third of the young season at 13:48, and the teams skated into the locker-room tied 2-2 after 20 minutes.

Early in the second Brandon Magee gave Victoria their first lead of the hockey game with Soudek and Sundher both drawing the assists.

The Royals may have led, but the Cougars held a decisive edge in the shots category, and at one point were outshooting Victoria 34-14.

Prince George nearly tied the game when Taylor Thompson was awarded a penalty shot midway through the second, but was unable to beat Hamilton on a back-hand attempt.

The Cougars evened the score at three at 12:52 of the second when Charles Inglis put home a rebound off a Nick Buonassisi shot. Dan Gibb got the play going by keeping the puck in at the blueline and then creating the play from behind the Victoria goal.

It was 3-3 after 40 minutes.

The Royals grabbed their lead back at 7:34 when Steven Hodges scored on a short-handed breakaway.

The Cougars pulled their goalie with 1:15 left on the clock and it worked. Martin Marincin slid a pass across the point to Cody Carlson who one-timed one on net, and there was Alex Forsberg to gobble up the rebound and score his very first WHL regular season goal to tie the game at four.

Overtime solved nothing, and a shootout was needed. Alex Forsberg shot first for Prince George, but was denied, and Troy Bourke also came up empty in the shootout while Kevin Sundher and Robin Soudek converted for the Royals.

Prince George’s record falls to 1-0-0-1 while Victoria improves to 2-1.

These two teams will meet again tomorrow night at 7:00 from CN Centre.
The Prince George Cougars host the Victoria Royals for their home opener Friday night at CN Centre. This marks the first of back-to-back home games against Victoria.


The Victoria Royals are heading into this weekend riding a one-game winning streak. After losing on opening night in Vancouver, the Royals bounced back the next night with a 5-3 victory against the Giants on home ice. Brandon Magee scored the game-winning goal and goaltender Keith Hamilton made 48 saves for the victory.

Who’s Up Front:

20-year-old forward Robin Soudek leads the way with two goals and three points so far for Victoria. Soudek is the only Royal that has scored more than once so far this season. The Cats will also need to be mindful of Steven Hodges and Kevin Sundher who have both notched three points in their first two games in 2011-2012.

Who’s on D:

The Victoria Royals have a BIG group of d-men. 16-year-old Keegan Kanzig is a monster at 6’5 and 229 pounds. Add the likes of Zach Habscheid (6’4, 211), Jesse Zgraggen (6’1, 209), Tyler Stahl (6’2, 215) and Kade Pilton (6’5, 186) and you’ve got a group of d-men that certainly do not lack any size.

Who’s in Goal:

19-year-old Keith Hamilton got the call on Saturday and did not disappoint for Victoria in a 5-3 win over Vancouver. Hamilton made 48 saves in victory, and will likely see one of the two games this weekend. The other two goaltenders are 20-year-old Braden Gamble and 17-year-old Jared Rathjen (who hails from Prince George)


20-year-old defenceman Hayden Rintoul brings a wealth of experience and poise to the Victoria blueline. Rintoul was acquired this summer from the Kootenay Ice. Rintoul enjoyed championship success with Kootenay last season, and will likely see a ton of big minutes against the top forwards of the Cats.


The Prince George Cougars are coming off a spirited 1-0 victory Saturday in Kamloops. Charles Inglis scored the loan goal while Drew Owsley recorded a 32-save shutout.

Who’s Up Front:

The trio of Charles Inglis, Troy Bourke and Nick Buonassisi looked good together in Kamloops and will likely be counted upon again to provide offense for the Cats this weekend. With the departure of Taylor Makin, a spot has now opened up alongside Brock Hirsche and Spencer Asuchak, which maybe provides an opportunity for Alex Forsberg or Jordan Tkatch to embrace a more offensive role. We’ll soon see what head coach Dean Clark has in mind.

Who’s on D:

The return of Martin Marincin should greatly aid the Cougars power play which went 0-5 on Saturday. Marincin is gifted offensively, but also provides great size and strength on the back-end. Marincin will likely see plenty of ice-time against the top forwards of the Victoria Royals. Add the fact that Cody Carlson and Dan Gibb are coming off a stellar performance against Kamloops, and Dean Clark has no shortage of options defensively in key situations.

Who’s in Goal:

After making 32 saves on Saturday and receiving the game’s first star award, Drew Owsley will look for a similar outing at home against the Royals. Owsley was nominated for the CHL Goaltender of the Week, and will be heading into this weekend with plenty of confidence. Now he’ll need some more help offensively as winning 1-0 on most nights is not an easy thing to do.


Special teams will be very important this weekend. The Cougars were a perfect seven-for-seven killing penalties on Saturday, but struggled getting the power play going. If the Cats can bury one or two on the man-advantage and get some confidence brewing on the power play, the Cougars have a great shot at ending the evening with a 2-0 record.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Home Opener Reminder.

The Prince George Cougars would like to invite all hockey fans to the Cougars home opener Friday, September 30th against the Victoria Royals. Opening night is the Pink Power Play game to support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the rink for a chance to win great prizes and to show support for families affected by breast cancer. A return flight for two people to any scheduled WestJet destination will be up for grabs during the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Chuck a Puck Challenge, courtesy of WestJet, with money raised benefitting the cause.

The evening starts with the Cougars annual Tailgate Party outside CN Centre, which will run from 5:00pm – 7:00pm. There will be live entertainment, with country music artist and Prince George’s own Rick Stavely hitting the stage to entertain fans. Save On Foods will be selling hot dogs and pop with proceeds to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Prince George. Big Brothers Big Sisters will offer face-painting and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation will offer temporary tattoos, both by donation. Children can visit the Huble Homestead table to participate in a Cat’s Eye craft activity. Rowdy Cat and the Funchaser will also be in attendance.
The Prince George Cougars, in conjunction with the Family YMCA of Prince George will be kicking off the Y Champions Hockey Weekend with a booth promoting their programs and giving away free weekly membership coupons. Special guest Ryan Walter will be in attendance to receive City of Prince George proclamation before the game.

All the players in the Y Champions Hockey tournament will receive a complementary game ticket for our opening night. For the guests attending the Y Champions Hockey Weekend banquet, the Cougars are offering tickets to the Cougars game September 30th for only $10 plus HST per ticket. Simply show your banquet ticket at Ticketmaster to redeem.

“We would like to thank the YMCA for partnering with us for the Y Champions Hockey Weekend,” said Prince George Cougars Vice President Brandi Brodsky. “We treasure our relationship with the local YMCA and are looking forward to working with them all season long.”

“We are so happy to be able to work with the Prince George Cougars and support the Prince George Cougars opening game night,” says Family YMCA CEO Mark Miller, “This is the second year we have partnered on this event and it just gets better and better.”

Prince George Cougars Season Tickets are available by calling Ticketmaster at 250-564-5585.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wear Pink to the Rink September 30th.

PRINCE GEORGE, BC- The Prince George Cougars have teamed up with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure once again to bring the Pink Power Play game to CN Centre. The Cougars will open the season on September 30th with players wearing pink skate laces, pink sock tape and pink stick tape to support breast cancer awareness in Prince George.

Fans could win one return trip for two people to any scheduled WestJet destination by participating in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Chuck a Puck Challenge during the second intermission contest. Pink pucks will be available for purchase on the concourse. Participants are encouraged to purchase multiple pucks to increase their chances. WestJet has generously donated the trip with all funds raised designated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Cougars fans who wear pink to the game will have the chance to win prizes courtesy of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. Fans are invited to show up early to participate in family fun at the Cougars Annual Tailgate Party in the CN Centre parking lot from 5-7pm. Along with live music, a BBQ and other attractions, representatives from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure will be offering pink hairspray and temporary tattoos by donation.

“This is the fourth season we’ve hosted the Pink Power Play game and we are proud to have the opportunity to focus attention on the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation,” said Cougars Vice President Brandi Brodsky. “We hope to see all of our fans supporting breast cancer awareness by wearing something pink to our Opening Night game on September 30.”

“We are so excited to be partnering with the Cougars for another year,” said Co-Run Director Shari Wingfield. “These hockey players are just like the rest of us—they have mothers, sisters, aunts and friends who have been affected by breast cancer and the Pink Power Play game is their way of supporting a future without breast cancer.”

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure merchandise will be available for purchase at the Pink Power Play game to raise money for the cause.

Staff from the Prince George Cougars have registered a team for the Run for the Cure and challenge local businesses to do the same. To register or donate to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure visit

For group tickets to this event at discounted rates contact the Cougars office at 250-561-0783.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Owsley Nominated for CHL Weekly Award.

Prince George Cougars goaltender Drew Owsley (1991-Lethbridge, AB) has been nominated for the CHL Goaltender of the Week Award. Owsley posted a 1-0-0-0 record this past week with a 1-0 shutout victory over the Kamloops Blazers. Owsley made 32 saves, many of which were difficult.

It was Owsley’s first regular season game as a Prince George Cougar and he was named the game’s 1st Star.

Owsley was acquired by the Cougars in August. The trade sent 19-year-old goaltender Ty Rimmer, a third-round draft pick in 2012, and a fifth-round draft pick in 2013 to the Tri City Americans.

Monday Morning.

Good morning,

i thought i'd take some time this morning to post some of my personal thoughts that stem from opening weekend.

First off I want to say thanks to everybody who took the time to congratulate me and encourage me before, during and after Saturday's broadcast in Kamloops. It meant so much to me, and I am happy that I got to share that experience with many friends. family members and fans. I felt good about the call, and I look forward to at least 71 more this season.


I want to also say thank you to the many families who came to Pine Center Mall yesterday to "Meet the Pack." The sun was shining, and a ton of fun was had by all. It was great to see so many kids playing ball-hockey with the Cougars, and it was evident that the Cougars players were greatly enjoying themselves as well. The Cats take a lot of pride in their community involvement, and yesterday's function was a great success. Great job Prince George!


Big news this morning regarding the return of Martin Marincin to the Cougars from Edmonton. Marincin is going to provide a strong offensive presence on the back-end, especially on the powerplay. The defensive effort put forth by the Cougars Saturday in Kamloops was strong, and the addition of Marincin should only bolster the collective confidence of the Cougars players, coaches and fans.


The Cougars played a greasy road-game on Saturday and were rewarded with two points. Head Coach Dean Clark mentioned afterwards that the Cougars are still a long way from being in 'mid-season form' but all victories are important no matter how they look, and a 1-0 record looks a lot better than 0-1.


Drew Owsley was sensational on Saturday. It was a goaltending performance to be proud of, and I certainly hope my broadcast did it justice. He was square to the shooter, had strong rebound control, and did not give up on any pucks. Goaltending Coach Phil Guenter told me before camp that Owsley's greatest strength was the fact that he never gave up - It was very evident on Saturday. Here's an interview from yesterday with Owsley.

Drew Owsley Sunday by thevoicedo


Defensively the Cougars blocked shots with reckless abandon Saturday and leading the charge was 20-year-old defenceman Cody Carlson. i counted at least five blocks from Carlson, and many of them looked painful. Carlson exemplified all of the qualities that a 20-year-old player in the WHL should possess, and was well deserving of a star-selection on my broadcast.

Here's an interview with Carlson, also from yesterday.

Cody Carlson by thevoicedo


I want to quickly say thanks to Tim O'Donovan and Jon Keen in Kamloops for their help on Saturday. Its not always easy to find good help on the road, but those two stepped up and helped me get settled. Thanks fellas!


Enjoy your Monday! You can expect plenty of blogging leading up to the home opener on September 30th against Victoria.

Marincin Returns to the Cougars.

The Edmonton Oilers have re-assigned defenceman Martin Marincin (1992) to the Prince George Cougars.

Marincin recorded 14 goals and 56 points in 67 games last season with the Cats and finished second in team scoring for defenceman. He added five points in four playoff games.

Marincin was selected first-overall by the Prince George Cougars in the 2010 CHL Import Draft.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Meet the Pack" A Tremendous Success.

Sunday afternoon in Prince George, the Cougars spent an enjoyable afternoon at Pine Center Mall playing road hockey and signing autographs.

Plenty of families showed up to “Meet the Pack.”

The Prince George Cougars players split into two equal groups. One half signed autographs while the other played road-hockey. Halfway through the afternoon they switched stations.

“I think it’s great for us and it’s great to get the community involved with the players,” said Cougars 20-year-old defenceman Cody Carlson. “Seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces is great.”

The weather cooperated nicely, and many parents stayed to watch their kids interact with their favourite Prince George Cougars.

The Prince George Cougars want to thank every single person who took the time to “Meet the Pack” on Sunday afternoon at the Pine Center Mall.

Owsley and Inglis Lead the Cats to Victory.

When the Prince George Cougars acquired Drew Owsley from the Tri City Americans, they wanted a goaltender who could not just win games, but steal them. It’s safe to say that Drew Owsley’s Prince George debut was a success. Owsley stopped all 32 shots he faced and Charles Inglis had the games lone goal in a 1-0 Prince George victory in Kamloops.

The Cougars and Blazers were tied at zero after one. Kamloops carried the play in the early stages, but Owsley rose to the occasion and made some big stops early. The Cougars had the best chance to score in the first period, but Kamloops goaltender Cam lanigan made a fine save off Greg Fraser mid-way through the first period. After one period Kamloops was outshooting Prince George 10-8.

Early in the second, the Kamloops Blazers went on a series of power-plays, but Drew Owsley once again stood his ground, and made some big saves. The biggest save of all came off Colin Smith during the fifth Kamloops powerplay of the game.

Late in the second period, the Cougars were given a powerplay, but were unable to take advantage. With less than 10 seconds left in the period, Cody Carlson sent a long-lead pass up the ice to Charles Inglis. Inglis skated across the blueline and wired a wrist-shot past Cam Lanigan to give Prince George the 1-0 lead. Inglis’ goal came with only .8 seconds left in the second stanza. Kamloops held a 24-16 shot advantage after two periods.

The Cougars settled their game down in the third period, and played sound defensively. Cody Carlson blocked a ton of shots throughout the game, but really stepped up in the third period.

The Blazers pulled their goalie in the final minute, but Drew Owsley continued to do his thing, and the Cougars continued to block shots.

Kamloops had one final chance, but Austin Madaisky’s point-shot was blocked and cleared and the time expired.

Prince George outshot Kamloops 9-8 in the third period, but were outshot 32-25 overall. The Cats finished 0-5 on the powerplay while Kamloops finished 0-7.

After the game, Cougars Head Coach Dean Clark praised the efforts of Owsley, and also specifically highlighted the play of Dan Gibb and Cody Carlson on the back-end.

The victory gives Prince George a 1-0 record, and some added confidence heading into another full week of practice. The Cougars will welcome the Victoria Royals to CN Centre on Friday, September 30th for their home opener. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM.


I definitely have some personal thoughts that I'd like to share following my first ever WHL broadcast, but I am going to wait until later to post my thoughts. Right now it's 5 AM and it's time to catch some shut-eye.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cougars - Blazers Preview (September 24th)

The Prince George Cougars open up their regular season tonight in Kamloops against the Blazers. Last season Prince George went 7-1 against the Blazers, but this is a different season with a different set of circumstances, and both of these teams are trying to become top-dog in the B.C. Division. Game one of eight goes tonight at 7:00.

Who’s Up Front:

The Kamloops Blazers have several weapons up front even with Brendan Ranford serving a three-game suspension. Chase Schaber, Jordan DePape and Colin Smith are all dangerous and gifted, and will need to be watched carefully. Last season Chase Schaber tallied eight points against the Prince George Cougars in seven games played.

Who’s on D:

Defensively the Kamloops Blazers can be dangerous at both ends of the ice. Austin Madaisky is coming off a season where he missed 17-games, and no doubt he’ll be looking to lead the charge from the back-end. Madaisky tallied 27 points in 55 games last season for Kamloops.

Who’s in Goal:

19-year-old Cam Lanigan appears to be getting the call for Kamloops tonight. Lanigan went 7-17-1-0 last season. Lanigan has earned this shot in goal through hard work in practice. It’ll up to the Cougars forwards to pepper him with shots early and often in order to find success.


16-year-old forward Matthew Needham led all Kamloops scoreers with seven points in three preseason games. He was particularly good on September 16th in Prince George when he tallied two goals and two assists. The Cats will need to take away his time and space and make sure he earns every inch of ice out there.

Who’s Up Front:

With Brett Connolly still at NHL Camp in Tampa Bay, the number one offensive weapon in Prince George is 19-year-old forward Charles Inglis. Inglis had 32 goals and 60 points last season as an 18-year-old, and has high expectations of himself and his team this season. As a 19-year-old, Inglis also has the opportunity to serve as a calming influence to some of the younger Cougars who may be dealing with some nerves right now.

Who’s on D:

Collectively the Prince George Cougars D-Core is ready to go. 20-year-old Cody Carlson is no stranger to this type of scenario, and he’ll be looked upon to play big minutes, and key situations for Prince George. The Cougars got plenty of offense from the Defense during the pre-seasoin, and they are hoping that the likes of Linden Springer, Shane Pilling and Josh Smith can continue to supply offense now that points are truly up for grabs.

Who’s in Goal:

The Prince George Cougars will likely be leaning on the 20-year-old Drew Owsley to start the regular season. Owsley went 36-17-2 last season with the Tri City Americans, and his confidence and experience will also be key for success in tonight’s game. If Owsley can make the first save, and his defense can take care of the rest, the Cats have a great shot at starting the season 1-0 on the road.


17-year-old Troy Bourke is entering his draft-year and is looking to build on an impressive 2010-2011 campaign which saw him tally 19 goals and 42 points. Bourke plays with great poise and maturity, and if he can contribute offensively tonight, the Cats will likely find themselves in contention for the victory.

Game time 7:00, and you can hear all of the action live on 99.3 The Drive.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cougars Invite You to "Meet the Pack" This Weekend.

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Prince George Cougars, Pine Centre Mall, 99.3 The Drive and the Prince George Citizen invite you to come down to Pine Centre Mall this Sunday, Sept 25th between 1 and 2pm to “Meet the Pack.” The entire Prince George Cougars team will be on hand to play ball hockey with children 12 and under, and will be available to sign autographs. The ball hockey will be taking place in the parking lot behind Sears.

“This is the perfect time of year for our fans to meet the team, and get to know them on a one to one basis,” said Prince George Cougars Vice President Brandi Brodsky. “We have an exciting season ahead of us, and we want our fans to have the opportunity to really be involved with their home town team.”

Pine Centre Mall will also be holding a $50 Gift Card draw at the autograph station.

Fans are reminded that Prince George Cougars season tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 250-564-5585.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Carson Bolduc Signs With Cougars.

The Prince George Cougars are pleased to announce the signing of 1996-born forward Carson Bolduc. Bolduc was selected 59th overall in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

“We are very happy to officially have Carson as a member of our Cougar family,” said Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel Wade Klippenstein. “Carson was a huge part of Kamloops’ success last year as one of the top Bantam teams in Western Canada.”

Bolduc scored 54 goals and added 44 assists for 98 points with the Kamloops Tier 1 team in 61 regular season games. Bolduc also recorded 40 penalty-minutes.

Klippenstein adds, “As the top forward in our 2011 draft class we look forward to Carson being an offensive leader for us down the road.”

Bolduc will make his Prince George Cougars debut on January 1st, 2012 when the Cougars play in Kamloops.

Prince George Cougars Season Tickets are available by calling Ticketmaster at 250-564-5585.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Some Questions to Ponder.

Heading into the 2011-2012 Regular Season there are question marks surrounding every team in the WHL and the Prince George Cougars are no exception. Tonight I thought I would pose some of these questions, and attempt to answer them as best as possible.

These questions are in no particular order or importance.

1) How many 16 year olds will start the season in Prince George?

A very difficult question to answer due in large part to the success that the 16-year-old players have had during the preseason and Training Camp. Heading into the season it was wide assumed that Alex Forsberg would have a spot on the team, and I fully expect that to be the case. But add the likes of Jordann Tkatch, Chase Witala, Jarrett Fontaine and Jake Mykitiuk to the mix up front, and you've got some tough decisions to make. Tkatch was tied for the team lead in scoring during the preseason, and there's no denying that Fontaine, Mykitiuk and Witala have enough talent to play.

On the back end, the lone 16-year-old remaining is Michael Mylchreest. The California-born defenceman has size, poise and some obvious offensive potential. The fact that there are so many young players posing as a legit threat to the veterans is a good thing.

2) Who is going to be the 'breakout player' for Prince George in 2011-2012?

Again there are several options. Offensively the Cats are loaded with potential, and now it's time for some of the forwards to seize the opportunity and breakout. For me the name that sticks out is Brock Hirsche. Hirsche had 25 points last season as an 18-year-old. I'm sure that his role will increase this season, especially at the start. With Hirsche's grit, speed and smarts there is room for more offense. Greg Fraser, Spencer Asuchak are two other names that come to mind that could be due to breakout offensively this season.

3) Are the Cougars prepared the possibility of life without Brett Connolly and Martin Marincin?

It goes without saying that the Cougars are a much better team with the likes of Brett Connolly and Martin Marincin in the fold. That being said, it's certainly a strong possiblity that both are wearing NHL colors in early October. If that's the case, then the Cougars will have to find a way to create an identity without them. Offensively the Cats have Charles Inglis, Troy Bourke, Nick Buonassisi, and Alex Forsberg who are very capable offensive play-makers. Defensively Cody Carlson, Jesse Forsberg, Dan Gibb, Shane Pilling, and Josh Smith provide a solid nucleus with a ton of upside at both ends.

The Prince George Cougars simply cannot afford to 'wait' for Connolly and Marincin to return. They need to stick to their strengths, listen to the coaching staff and establish their identity in the early stages of the season. That way IF one or both of Connolly and Marincin returns, it's an effortless transition.

4) Where do the Cougars Stack Up in the BC Division?

As far as I'm concerned, the BC Division is wide open this year. Kamloops, Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria all have their strengths, and all of those teams have top-notch talent. That said there isn't one particular team that JUMPS OUT at me either. There's not a team that I would consider the 'clear-cut' favourite to win the division, which is a good thing for Prince George. There's no doubt that this team is ready to be a part of the discussion in the Western Hockey League. The players have big expectations for themselves, and I know that the coaching and management staff are confident that the Cats can accomplish great things in 2011-2012. Now it's just a matter of preparing, and executing better than the rest.

Friday, September 16, 2011

September 16 Photos.

*All Photos By: Julie Larson

Owsley Pounces On Rebound.

Here Comes Hirsche

Fraser Skates In

Carlson Shields the Puck.

Kamloops 7 - Prince George 1

Now the real season begins!

Friday night in Prince George, the Prince George Cougars fell 7-1 to the Kamloops Blazers. Matthew Needham scored twice, and added two helpers for Kamloops, while Tim Bozon had a goal and three assists.

The Blazers led 2-0 after 20 minutes. Bozon opened the scoring at 17:52, and Cole Ully followed with his first of two goals at the 19 minute mark of period one. The shots on goal were 14-3 favouring Kamloops after one.

The Cougars had great jump to start the second period but were unable to beat Taran Kozun. The trio of Spencer Asuchak, Troy Bourke and Brock Hirsche had some great chances, but simply could not capitalize.

Matthew Needham increased the Kamloops lead with two unanswered goals in two minutes and eight seconds.

John Odgers did his best to spark the Cougars by dropping the gloves with Blazers defenceman Tyler Hansen. Odgers was definitely mis-matched in terms of size, but held his own. It worked. Seconds later Troy Bourke and Spencer Asuchak skated in on a two-on-one and Asuchak converted on a Troy Bourke pass to make the score 4-1. For the 20-year-old Asuchak, it was his first goal of the preseason.

Cole Ully notched his second of the game at 17:31 of the second to put the score at 5-1. After two periods Kamloops held a 27-13 shot advantage.

Blazers defencemen Brady Gaudet and Josh Connolly added third period markers to clinch the victory for Kamloops.

Drew Owsley played the full 60 minutes for Prince George, and surrendered seven goals on 34 shots faced. Taran Kozun stopped 32 of 33 shots faced for Kamloops.

The Blazers finished one-for-five on the powerplay while Prince George went zero-for-five.

With that, the preseason comes to a close. The Cougars finish with a record of 1-3-1-0. On a positive note, the Cats open the season against the same Kamloops Blazers on September 24th in Kamloops. The Cats will look for redemption when two points are on the line.

Cougars/Blazers Preview.

The Prince George Cougars wrap up their preseason schedule tonight with a home game against the Kamloops Blazers. The two teams were supposed to play each other Wednesday in Kamloops, but the Blazers cancelled due to a depleted roster. This will be the final tuneup for Prince George before the games start to count in the standings.


The Kamloops Blazers share an identical 1-2-1 preseason record with the Prince George Cougars. Kamloops defeated Victoria 4-2 in early September, but have lost their next three games. Kamloops has eight players away at NHL camps and are hoping to bounce back this season after missing the playoffs in 2010-2011.

Who’s Up Front:

17-year-old forward Chase Souto leads the Blazers in preseason scoring. The California product has two goals and five points in four games played. 16-year-old centerman Matt Needham has tallied three points in two games, and is another key cog to the future of Kamloops.

Who’s on D:

18-year-old Mark Hrbas has tallied four assists and is a +3 in four games. The Czech defenceman has registered two of his four assists on the man-advantage. The Cats will have to do their best to take away his time and space while short-handed.

Who’s in Goal:

Cam Lanigan (19), Cole Cheveldave (18) and Taran Kozun (17) are still listed on the Kamloops roster. So far this preseason Cheveldave is 1-1, Kozun is 0-1 and Lanigan has not factored into any decisions to this point.


Energy. It’s no secret that the Kamloops Blazers will be dressing a smaller roster than usual tonight. Early reports indicate that the Blazers will be dressing only eight forwards. Collectively the Blazers will need to maximize their time on the ice, and keep their shifts short and effective. If they do so, they may find success on the road in Prince George.


The Prince George Cougars are coming off a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against the Edmonton Oil Kings on September 10th. Shane Pilling and Troy Bourke scored 56 seconds apart in the third period to seal the Cats first preseason victory. Prince George can even their pre-season record with a win tonight at home.

Who’s Up Front:

Jordan Tkatch still leads the way up front with three points in two games. After Tkatch, there is a long line of players with two points. Alex Forsberg, Troy Bourke, Jake Mykitiuk, Chase Witala and Jarrett Fontaine are all forwards who I know would love to have a big night tonight. For many of the 16-year-olds this might be their last chance to make a positive impression with the coaching staff before the tough decisions are made.

Who’s on D:

The Prince George Cougars are obviously missing the offense provided by Martin Marincin from the back-end, but so far in the preseason they have received more than enough offense from the ‘D.’ Linden Springer has scored twice, Shane Pilling once, and Josh Smith has tallied two assists alongside his 18 penalty-minutes. The Cats will once again hope for some timely offense from the back-end again tonight.

Who’s in Goal:

Drew Owsley and Devon Fordyce are the only two goalies remaining for the Prince George Cougars as the preseason nears it’s end. Drew Owsley earned the victory on September 10th against Edmonton and has played very well through 60 minutes of work this preseason. Devon Fordyce has earned the role of backup and it will be interesting to see if Head Coach Dean Clark is going to split their duties tonight, or will he go with one goalie for the full 60 minutes.


While the added offense from the back-end has been nice, the Cats need more offense from the forwards. I’m sure there will be plenty of emphasis placed on shots on goal, and net-traffic. If the Cougars forwards can stay disciplined, physical and bare-down when they have good chances, they have a great shot at ending the preseason with a 2-2-1 record.

Puck drop is 7:00 PM tonight from CN Centre.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Season Tickets Have Arrived!

The 2011-2012 Western Hockey League season is drawing near, and the Prince George Cougars are pleased to announce that their season ticket booklets have arrived and are ready for pickup.

Season ticket holders will receive the Cougars VIP card with exclusive deals from Earls, Chatters, Hubbell Designer Goldsmiths, Studio 2880, Best Western Valemount Inn & Suites, Papyrus, Huble Homestead, Four Seasons Pool, Prince George Aquatic Centre, Carpet Doctor and The Exploration Place. This season, all season ticket holders will also receive a coupon for $1000 off the purchase of any new genuine Jacuzzi hot tub courtesy of Eden Spas.

Fans are encouraged to stop by Ticketmaster at CN Centre to pick up their 2011-2012 season tickets. Also, it’s not too late for you to purchase season tickets for the upcoming season. Contact the Prince George Cougars at 250-561-0783 for more details.

Clarkie Inducted to Skaters Wall of Fame in St. Albert.

Prince George Cougars Head Coach Dean Clark received a great honour earlier this month in St. Albert. When Prince George was in St. Albert for preseason action, Clark was inducted into the St. Albert Skating Wall of Fame.

Clark played minor Hockey in St. Albert, and then spent two seasons playing for the St. Albert Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. From there, Clark went to the Kamloops Junior Oilers of the Western Hockey League, and got a taste of the NHL in 1983-84 with the Edmonton Oilers.

14-years after Clark started his hockey career in St. Albert, he returned to start his coaching career. Clark would eventually join the Western Hockey League coaching ranks, and was named the Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year in 1998, and came within an overtime goal of winning the 1999 Memorial Cup with the Hitmen.

Clark has earned over 400 victories in the Western Hockey League and hopes to add many more to that total this season – His third in Prince George.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cougars/Blazers September 14th Preseason Game Cancelled.

The Prince George Cougars preseason road game scheduled for Wednesday, September 14th in Kamloops has been cancelled. The Kamloops Blazers cancelled the game due to a depleted roster.

The Cougars final preseason home game on Friday September 16th versus the Blazers will take place as scheduled, 7:00 PM at the CN Centre.

The Prince George Cougars will practice Wednesday and Thursday at 2:15 at CN Centre.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cats Complete Third Period Comeback!

The Prince George Cougars showed some strong resolve on Saturday and were rewarded with a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings at a neutral-site game in Jasper. Shane Pilling and Troy Bourke scored late third period goals, and the Cats fought back from a 1-0 defecit to earn the victory.

The Edmonton Oil Kings struck first at 17:15 of the first period. Under aged defenceman Dyson Mayo scored a power-play goal to put the Oil Kings ahead.

Neither team was able to score in the second period, and the third period proved to be difficult also. The Prince George Cougars outshot Edmonton 17-2 in the third.

With two minutes remaining, the Cougars still trailed. But their resilience finally paid off and Shane Pilling tied the score at 1-1 for Prince George. 54 seconds later Troy Bourke notched his first of the preseason to give the Cats a 2-1 lead. It was a lead that they would not surrender.

Drew Owlsey stopped all seven shots he faced in the final half of the game, and Tyler Santos made 11 of 12 saves in the first-half.

Special teams did not prove to be a deciding factor for either team. Prince George finished zero-for-10 on the powerplay. Edmonton went one-for-five.

The Prince George Cougars improve their preseason record to 1-2-1. Their next preseason matchup goes Wednesday against Kamloops.

Cats-Oil Kings Preview (Part 2)

The Prince George Cougars continue their quest for their first preseason victory tonight against the Edmonton Oil Kings. Last night Edmonton defeated Prince George 4-1 on the strength of two goals from Stephane Legault, and some terrific goaltending from Jon Groenheyde.

Who’s Up Front:

The Edmonton Oil Kings got terrific contributions from their forwards in last night’s game. Mark Reners, TJ Foster, and Stephane Legault all factored into the offense, and performed admirably. The Prince George defence-core will need to do a better job of keeping these three off the score-sheet.

Who’s on D:

Griffin Reinhart is the real deal for the Edmonton Oil Kings. The 17-year-old is the total package. He’s got size, smarts and skill. He quarterbacked an unsuccessful power-play for Edmonton last night, but was also a strong force defensively.

Who’s in Goal:

20-year-old Jon Groenheyde got the call for Edmonton last night, so it may be that 16-year-old goaltender Tristan Jarry gets the call tonight for Edmonton. Although given how well Groenheyde played, maybe coach Derek Laxdal wants to stay with the hot hand.


Edmonton defeated Prince George 4-1 last night with almost ZERO help from their special teams. They went zero-for-nine on the man-advantage. They’ll need to fix their special teams if they want to give themselves another good shot tonight.

Who’s Up Front:

Collectively the Prince George forwards need to be better in tonight’s game. Several forwards had their moments in last night’s game, but nobody was really able to rise up and lead the Cats offensively. Hopefully tonight we see a stronger offensive showing for all four lines up front. It starts with the veterans. My hunch tells me that the 92-aged forwards specifically will be better in Jasper.

Who’s on D:

Linden Springer is very quietly having himself a strong preseason offensively. Springer has goals in two straight games, and has held his own defensively through three games. Springer has a strong shot, and can move the puck really well. Can he make it three games in a row?

Who’s in Goal:

Tyler Santos had the night off last night, so in all likelihood he’ll get a shot tonight in Jasper. Devon Fordyce stopped 13 of 14 shots he faced, while Drew Owsley made 20 saves on 22 shots faced in the first-half of last night’s game.


The Prince George Cougars had numerous chances to extend their 1-0 lead last night, and were simply unable too. Tonight the X-Factor for Prince George is going to be ‘killer instinct.’ If they get the lead, they need to stay hungry and continue to be the aggressor. Right now the X-factor cannot be an individual, it has to be a group mentality. If they keep the killer instinct for 60 minutes, they’ll get their first preseason ‘W’ tonight.


In other Cats news, Prince George has reassigned defencemen Joseph Carvalho and Raymond Grewal to their respective Midget Teams. The Cougars roster now sits at 29. Three are goalies, nine are defenceman, and 17 forwards remain.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Oil Kings 4 - Cougars 1

Friday night in Prince George the Prince George Cougars dropped a 4-1 decision to the Edmonton Oil Kings. Stephane Legault scored twice, and Jon Groenheyde made 31 saves for the Oil Kings in victory.

The Cougars were the better team in the first period. Goaltender Drew Owsley stopped all 12 shots he faced, and Linden Springer notched his second goal of preseason on the power-play to give Prince George a 1-0 lead.

Early in the second period Alex Forsberg had a tremendous chance to make it 2-0, but Groenheyde made a terrific save to keep the game close. Shortly thereafter Edmonton got on the board. Mark Reners and Stephane Legault scored 91 seconds apart early in the second, and from there Jon Groenheyde did the rest.

Add some great saves to a couple of missed open nets, and the Cougars simply could not bury on their chances. T.J. Foster scored in the final minute of the second period and the Oil Kings had a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.

After a penalty-filled third period, Stephane Legault put the game away for Edmonton with an empty-netter at 17:29.

Drew Owsley started the game for Prince George, and finished with 20 saves on 22 shots faced. Devon Fordyce stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced.

The bright spot for the Cougars Friday was their penalty-kill. Edmonton finished zero-for-nine on the power-play while Prince George finished one-for-five.

The Cougars are still without a victory in three preseason games. This loss puts Prince George at 0-2-1 for the preseason while Edmonton improved to 2-1.

These two teams are back at it tomorrow night from Jasper. Puck drops at 7:00.

Cats Ink California D-Man.

The Prince George Cougars are pleased to announce the signing of 1995-born defenceman Michael Mylchreest to a standard Western Hockey League contract. Mylchreest, from Gilroy, California stands 6’2” and checks in at 188 pounds. He played his Midget hockey for the San Jose Jr. Sharks (NAPHL).

“We are so pleased that an elite American player chose the Western Hockey League, and chose the Prince George Cougars,” said Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel Wade Klippenstein. “He wants to be a pro. He’s willing to put in the work and we want to help him get to the next level.”

“We are pleased that Michael and his family have committed to our Hockey Club,” said Prince George Cougars General Manager Dallas Thompson. “The recruiting process with the Mylchreest family was very thorough, and in the end, the Major Junior route met their needs.”

“It was a pretty exciting moment,” said Mylchreest. “Once we did it, I felt a lot better. We knew when we came here to Training Camp that it just felt right.”

The Prince George Cougars would also like to thank Scout Troy Zasowski and the San Jose Jr. Sharks program for the effort and development given to Michael.

Of the 31 players remaining on the Prince George Cougars pre-season roster, 11 are defencemen.

Fans are reminded that Prince George Cougars season tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 250-564-5585.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cats/Oil Kings Preview

Friday night the Prince George Cougars host the Edmonton Oil Kings for their first home preseason game of the season. It’s the first of two home-preseason games for Prince George, and marks the first of a home-and-home matchup between the two clubs.


So far the Edmonton Oil Kings are 1-1 in the preseason. They fell 4-2 to Swift Current on September 4th, but followed up with a 3-2 victory over Medicine Hat on September 5th. Last season against Prince George, the Oil Kings finished 3-1 in the regular season.

Who’s Up Front:

The 2010 WHL Bantam Draft may prove to be a special one for the Edmonton Oil Kings. After the Cats selected Alex Forsberg first overall, Edmonton followed up by selecting center Curtis Lazar second. So far in two preseason games Lazar has tallied one assist, but is considered by many to be one of the brightest prospects in the entire league.

Who’s on D:

17-year-old Griffin Reinhart is coming off an excellent rookie campaign. Last season he tallied six goals and 25 points, and finished second in team scoring for defenceman. Add the fact that he stands 6’4” and weighs 202 pounds, and you’ve got the makings of an elite defenceman.

Who’s in Goal:

The Oil Kings will either go with Jon Groenheyde (91) or Tristan Jarry (95). Each netminder has seen 30-minutes of playing time so far in the preseason. Jarry took the loss against Swift Current on September 4th.


To me, the ultimate X-Factor for Friday will be two 20-year-old forwards: Rhett Rachinski and Josh Lazowski. Rachinski has already registered one goal in the preseason while Lazowski is looking for his first point of the preseason. The Cats will need to be mindful of these two experienced forwards if they want to find success.


The Prince George Cougars come into this game searching for their first preseason victory. The Cats dropped a 2-1 decision to Red Deer on September 4th, and followed up with a 6-5 overtime set-back to Calgary on September 5th.

Who’s Up Front:

Jordan Tkatch leads the way with a goal and two assists for Prince George. The 16-year-old has been able to use his size and skill to his advantage, and has given himself a realistic chance at making the opening-night roster. If Tkatch can continue this type of play, the coaches will have a very difficult decision to make before September 24th.

Who’s on D:

Offensively the Cats have been led by 16-year-old defenceman Joseph Carvalho. Carvalho leads the Cougars blueline with two points in two games, and has shown that he can compete at both ends of the ice. Odds are that the Cougars will be inserting some older defenceman into the mix for Friday’s game, which will no doubt help calm the nerves of some of the younger blueliners.

Who’s in Goal:

The ‘Battle for Backup’ is now down to two. Devon Fordyce and Tyler Santos are both vying to backup Drew Owsley in 2011-2012. Both saw 40 minutes of action in St. Albert, but neither one was able to lead the Cats to victory. There’s also a realistic chance that Drew Owsley will see some playing time at home against Edmonton.


Discipline will be the ultimate X-Factor for the Cats during Friday’s game with Edmonton. It’s no secret that things that very chippy in St. Albert and penalties were prevalent. If Prince George can win the special-teams battle, than they stand a great chance of finishing Friday night with a 1-1-1 record.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Top-Five Road Broadcasts I'm Most Excited for in 2011-2012.

My earlier post detailed the top-five 'Must See' home-games in 2011-2012 for the Prince George Cougars fans. This piece is more personal and details the top-five road-trips that I'm most excited for. Given that this is my first season in the Western Hockey League, I am unfamiliar with mostly all of these rinks. Each rink I'm sure will have it's own set of charms and excitement, but the following five road-games get me the most excited.

#5: September 24th - KAMLOOPS

I've been waiting my whole life for the chance to be a WHL broadcaster. My first ever broadcast will take place on September 24th in Kamloops. The Blazers are Prince George's closest rival, and it will be such a unique thrill to call my first game in Kamloops.

#4: November 25th - SEATTLE

During my college years, I spent my summers in Washington State as a summer camp counselor in Bellingham, WA. During those summers I met many close friends in Washington and I get really excited thinking about calling a hockey game in Kent, Washington knowing that many of my close pals will be in attendance (Cheering for the Cats of course!)

#3: October 10th - MOOSE JAW

I'm bummed that I never got to call a game from the legendary "Crushed Can" in Moose Jaw, but from all accounts the new barn is a special place. The Warriors are a team with a lot of history, and Saskatchewan as a whole is a special place to me. I look forward to seeing the brand-new facility that the Warriors now call home. I hear the fans in Moose Jaw really bring it too.

#2: October 5th - SASKATOON

Having spent the past four years in North Battleford, Saskatoon is the closest WHL center to my former place of residence. I watched plenty of WHL hockey in Saskatoon over the past four years, and it will be awesome getting a chance to return to Saskatchewan and getting a chance to watch the Cats to head-to-head with the Saskatoon Blades at the Credit Union Center. It also helps that my good buddy Cody Nickolet does color for the Blades, and he's already promised me that he'll be my second-intermission guest when I head East.

#1 October 25th - VANCOUVER

Thankfully I'm able to remember heading to the Pacific Coliseum to watch the Vancouver Canucks and more recently the Vancouver Giants. The Rink on Renfrew is near and dear to my heart, and I've often dreamt about what it would be like to call a game from the same broadcast booth as Jim Robson did for so many years. Add the fact that this game will serve as a true home-coming for yours truly, I'd be lying if I said that any other road-game meant more to me than this one on October 25th.

The Five 'Must See' Games of 2011-2012 for Prince George.

Tonight I decided to have a little fun. I looked at the Cats schedule for 2011-2012 and chose five games that I hope everybody can circle on their calender. These games are in no particular order. My next post will feature the top five games that I am personally most excited about. Here goes:

#5: September 30th - Victoria Royals.

Not only does this mark the home-opener for Prince George, but it also marks the return of Victoria to the Western Hockey League. Fans are no doubT well aware of the fact that Victoria and Prince George have a history together. For those that may not know, Victoria's franchise relocated to Prince George in the mid-90's and has been a pillar to the Prince George community ever since. Add the fact that the C.N. Center will be packed to the rafters and you've got the recipe for a truly special night in Prince George.

#4: Tuesday November 22 - Kootenay Ice.

It's always a thrill to welcome the defending champs to town, and the Cats will do so in late November against the Kootenay Ice. Kootenay is coming off a dream-season which saw them take a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference all the way to the Ed Chynoweth cup. The Kootenay Ice will provide the ultimate measuring stick for the Prince George Cougars.

#3: Tuesday, December 6 - Portland Winterhawks

The North/South rivalry reunites in Prince George when the league's most northern franchise (Prince George) lines up against the league's most southern squad (Portland). The Winterhawks have no shortage of talent, and have to be considered one of the favorites in the West. This team could possibly feature the likes of: Nino Niederreiter, Brad Ross, Ryan Johansen Sven Bartschi, Ty Rattie, Joe Morrow and Derek Pouliot. Granted it's unlikely that all of the above mentioned players are in the Western Hockey League this season, but the odds are that any team that wants to win the west in 2011-2012 may have to go through Mike Johnston's Portland Winterhawks.

#2: Wednesday, February 15 - Red Deer Rebels

Should the Edmonton Oilers decide to keep Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in junior for another season, fans in Prince George will have at least one more chance to witness Nugent-Hopkins in a junior uniform. Defenceman Matthew Dumba has been touted very highly by scouts, and should be poised for a strong 17-year-old season. Red Deer will be a tough team to beat this season with or without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and either way will be well worth the price of admission.

#1: Saturday, December 17 - Vancouver Giants

Teddy-Bear Toss Night is always a special night and this year it's magnified even more by the fact that one of the Cougars main rivals is in town. The Vancouver Giants are always a threat to do some damage due in large part to the coaching efforts of Don Hay. The G-Men have churned out lots of NHLers in recent years, and could serve as one of the primary obstacles in the way of Prince George and a B.C. Division Title. Yes it's an important night for the good of children, but it's likely going to be equally as important for the Cougars and their push up the standings.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Cougars Fall 6-5 in O.T. to Calgary.

Monday afternoon in St. Albert the Prince George Cougars dropped a 6-5 decision in overtime to the Calgary Hitmen. Cody Sylvester tallied in the final minute of overtime to give Calgary the victory.

The Hitmen led 2-1 after one. Brady Brassart and Greg Chase tallied 26 seconds apart to give the Hitmen a 2-0 lead, but the Cougars responded soon enough. Alex Forsberg notched his second goal of the weekend, to make the score 2-1 after 20 minutes.

Calgary increased their lead to 3-1 just 1:39 into the second when Ben Wilson converted. But Caleb Belter responded for Prince George just 17-seconds later. Jordan Tkatch then tallied on the power-play to tie the score at 3.

Just Kirsch gave Calgary their lead back at 12:42 (also on the power-play) but with only three seconds left in the second, Linden Springer grabbed the equalizer, and the Cats and Hitmen were even at four with only 20 minutes to go.

Prince George grabbed their first lead of the weekend at 12:33 of the third when Jake Mykitiuk buried his first of the preseason. But Trevor Cheek tied it for Calgary at 17:03 of the third, and after 60 minutes the game was even.

Cody Sylvester ended the game with just 28 seconds left in overtime.

After two games in St. Albert the Cougars end up with a record of 0-1-1-0.

But regardless of wins and losses there is plenty of reason for optimism. The Cats dressed a very young lineup during both games this weekend, and Joseph Carvahlo, Chase Witala, Jordan Tkatch and Jake Mykitiuk all had two points against Calgary.

After the game, the Cougars reassigned three players to their Midget AAA programs. Goaltender Brett Zarowny was reassigned to Leduc where he'll have a chance to play a ton of minutes for the Telus Cup hosts. Defenceman Jordan Harris was reassigned to the Prince Albert Mintos while Marc McNulty was reassigned to Medicine Hat's AAA program in Alberta.

The Cougars will be on the ice tomorrow morning at 11 AM for practice.

The Cats are back in action Friday night at home against the Edmonton Oil Kings.


As a new week approaches, I will post some more personal thoughts later tonight.

Cougars - Hitmen Preview.

This morning the Prince George Cougars take the ice with the Calgary Hitmen. Both teams take the ice searching for their first victory of the pre-season.

Who's Up Front:

Odds are good that the Cougars will get a good look at Jake Virtanen, the first overall selection from the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. Virtanen had quite a day yesterday scoring once and adding a helper against the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Cats will need to keep a close eye on Virtanen if they want to earn two preseason points this morning.

Who's on D:

17-year-old Kyle Schmidt had an assist in yesterday's game with Medicine Hat and also was a +2 for the game. If the Hitmen are going to improve upon last season's record, players like Schmidt are going to have to reach the next level of their development.

Who's in Goal:

Yesterday the Hitmen used the tandem of Mack Shields and Mike Snider, and I'd expect that one or both will get some action against the Cats today. According to the stats, Snider allowed all three goals for Calgary during the 4-2 loss to the Tigers. The fourth goal was scored into an empty-net.


The Prince George Cougars are coming off a 2-1 setback to the Red Deer Rebels. They managed 30 shots on goal, but only had one goal to show for their efforts. I'm sure the coaching staff is hoping for a similar output of shots, with some better results.

Who's Up Front:

Jordan Tkatch and Jarrett Fontaine both drew assists on Alex Forsberg's powerplay goal. Tkatch and Fontaine are vastly different in size and style, but they compliment each other well on the ice. Tkatch can use his size to draw defenders away and create room, which enables Fontaine to be more creative with the puck. Add a play-maker like Alex Forsberg to the mix and you've got the makings of a dangerous line.

Who's on D:

So far so good for Prince George's 2011 First-Round pick Jordan Harris. The defenceman from Prince Albert has shown that he's able to play smart defensive hockey and has not disappointed in his first camp. Given that he's the only 96-born player left at Cougars camp, Harris may only have one or two more opportunities to strut his stuff before he's sent home. I look for Harris to be a positive presence on the ice for Prince George today.

Who's in Goal:

The Cougars management was very pleased with the trio of Devon Fordyce, Tyler Santos and Brett Zarowny yesterday, even in a 2-1 loss. Which of these three will out-last the others? It's another game, and another opportunity.


Chase Witala has had a great camp for Prince George, and offensively he's got a ton of upside. I look at today's game as a great opportunity for Witala to breakout and contribute on the score-sheet.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cougars Falls 2-1 to Red Deer in Preseason Opener.

Sunday afternoon in St. Albert, the Prince George Cougars dropped a 2-1 decision to the Red Deer Rebels. Bryon Froese led the way with two goals for Red Deer, while Alex Forsberg responded to Prince George.

Penalties were a real problem for both squads. Prince George managed to kill 10 of 11 penalties while Red Deer killed eight of nine. Red Deer had seven power-plays in the first period alone. The Cats had four.

Froese got Red Deer on the board just 34 seconds into the game, and added his second at 18:19 of the second period.

Alex Forsberg got Prince George on the board early in the third when he converted on the man-advantage. Jarrett Fontaine and Jordan Tkatch drew assists on Forsberg's goal.

All three Cougars netminders played well in defeat. Tyler Santos, Devon Fordyce and Brett Zarowny each saw 20 minutes of action. Zarowny stopped Tyson Ness in the third period to keep the score at 2-1. Prince George outshot Red Deer 30-26.

The Cats are back in action tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM local time. They'll square off with the Calgary Hitmen.

Cougars/Rebels Preview.

The Prince George Cougars will take the ice for the first time in pre-season play this morning at 10:00 AM local time. The Cats go head-to-head with the Red Deer Rebels who finished second in the Eastern Conference during the 2010-2011 Regular Season.

Since I am not in St. Albert this weekend, I don't have a first-hand look at Red Deer's lineup for the game. But one would think that the Rebels will be dressing a lot of younger players in order to showcase the future. During the regular season these previews will involve a detailed look at both squads, but for today and tomorrow I'm going to focus solely on the Cats and what we can hope to expect from their lineup.

Who's Up Front:

The Prince George Cougars have a bevy of young, talented forwards who will be on display this weekend in St. Albert. The obvious name to keep an eye on is Alex Forsberg. The 16-year-old is looking to be a full-time player in 2011-2012, and assuming he plays to his strengths he has a great opportunity to do so. Add the likes of Chase Witala, Jordan Tkatch and Jarrett Fontaine and Jake Mykitiuk to the mix, and you've got a lot of young players that can put the puck in the net.

Who's on D:

Defensively the Cats have some tough decisions to make, and those decisions will solely depend on the performance of certain D-Men throughout the pre-season. Marc McNulty gets his first chance to strut his stuff in a game situation since he signed a WHL contract with the team. He's hard to miss out there, standing 6'5." Michael Mylchreest, Raymond Grewal, Joseph Carvahlo and Jordan Harris are all younger d-men that the fans should keep an eye on.

Who's in Goal:

This weekend fans will get a chance to see Tyler Santos (94), Devon Fordyce (94) and Brett Zarowny (95). All three of these goalies had a great Training Camp, and all three (in my opinion) have a legit shot at cracking the opening night roster. Whoever plays the best and most consistent hockey during the pre-season will likely start the season as the backup for Drew Owsley.


This weekend, a lot of attention is going to be paid to some of the 94 and 93-born players. Today I look for John Odgers to step up and play a big role. He's got some WHL experience, and will no doubt be given every opportunity to succeed. If he can play a gritty, "in your face" style he'll give the coaching staff a lot to think about.

I will be tweeting results from a far this morning, so make sure you keep checking my twitter feed for the latest details from St. Albert!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cats Deal Rigby to Kelowna.

A trade to announce:

The Prince George Cougars have traded the rights to 1994-born forward Carter Rigby and a conditional 2014 sixth-round pick in the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft to the Kelowna Rockets. In exchange, the Cougars receive Kelowna’s third-round pick in the 2012 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Meet the Pack"

The Prince George Cougars, Pine Centre Mall, 99.3 The Drive and the Prince George Citizen invite you to come down to Pine Centre Mall on Sept 25th between 1 and 2pm to “Meet the Pack.” The Cougars team will be on hand to play ball hockey with children 12 and under, and be available to sign autographs in the mall between Ben Moss and Anne Louise Jewellers. “This is the perfect time of year for our fans to meet the team, and get to know them on a one to one basis,” said Prince George Cougars Vice President Brandi Brodsky. “We have an exciting season ahead of us, and we want our fans to have the opportunity to really be involved with their home town team.”

Pine Centre Mall will also be holding a $50 Gift Card draw at the autograph station.

In conjunction with the Cougars visit to the Centre, PinE-Club members will have the opportunity to enter a draw for a youth and two friends to have lunch with two players and receive five tickets to the Cougars’ home opener on Sept. 30th against the Victoria Royals.

It is never too late to join the E-Club at

Klippenstein Signs Extension.

The Prince George Cougars have signed Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel Wade Klippenstein to a two-year contract extension.

Two years ago, it was clear that the Prince George Cougars needed to make changes. One of those changes involved a complete overhaul of the team's scouting staff. Enter Wade Klippenstein. Klippenstein has worked tirelessly over the past two seasons to improve the team's scouting staff, protected list, and outlook for the future.

“We’re pleased to have a new deal in place with Wade,” said Prince George Cougars General Manager Dallas Thompson. “He’s done an outstanding job with assembling his staff and with his first two Bantam Drafts.”

Thompson is very pleased with Klippenstein’s efforts over the past two seasons. The 1995 and 1996-born draft-picks have shown well at recent Training Camps, and Thompson credits Klippenstein and the scouting staff for the progress the Cougars have made in recent years.

“It is exciting to already see the rewards of our entire scouting staff's efforts,” said Klippenstein."I'm very grateful for the opportunity to continue building a winning team in Prince George"

Prior to his arrival in Prince George, Klippenstein worked in the Western Hockey League as a Head Scout for the Moose Jaw Warriors and as Head Coach for the Prince Albert Raiders.