Friday, October 28, 2011

Cougars - Giants Preview.

Tonight the Prince George Cougars and Vancouver Giants renew their rivalry at CN Centre. These teams met last Tuesday with the Giants skating to a 6-2 victory. It was a fight filled affair with over 180 penalty minutes. Tonight’s game could very well be equally as intense.


Vancouver Giants forward Marek Tvrdon was the hero in Tuesday’s game against the Cougars. Tvrdon had a goal and an assist and used his size and strength to his advantage. Tvrdon is a forward, but plays the point on a power play, and has a one-timer that rivals most in the WHL. The Cats will need to be aware of Tvrdon who has tallied 16 points in 14 games.


Defensive the Giants are led by 18-year-old David Musil. Musil has earned 10 points in 14 games, but is a very consistent player for Don Hay’s team. Musil logs a lot of key minutes, and uses his 6’3” to his advantage. The Cougars will need to be physical with Musil and do anything they possibly can do to throw him off his game.


20-year-old Adam Morrison was the winning netminder during Tuesday’s tilt with Prince George. Morrison now has a 5-2 record as a Giant after being acquired in a trade with the Saskatoon Blades earlier in the season. Morrison is backed up by 16-year-old Jackson Whistle.


Brendan Gallagher was a big-time threat for Vancouver on Tuesday. Gallagher scored once, added an assist, and was a real pest for the Cougars defense. The best way to keep Gallagher in check? Discipline and smart decision-making on behalf of the Cougars tonight.

Who’s Up Front:

The Prince George Cougars have gotten goals in two straight games from 16-year-old rookie Jarrett Fontaine. Fontaine gets better with each game he plays in the WHL, and it shows not only with his offense, but also his tenaciousness along the boards. He’s by no means the biggest player on the ice, but he plays with such a strong and determined work-ethic. I look for another strong game from Fontaine tonight.


With Martin Marincin suspended for the next three games it will be up to the rest of the Cougars defenders to step up and shut down the Giants by committee. Cody Carlson will need to continue his strong two-way play, and the likes of Jesse Forsberg, Shane Pilling, Josh Smith, Dan Gibb and Reid Jackson will need to make smart decisions against some difficult forwards. One through six the Cougars are as good as anybody defensively, and they’ll need to show it tonight with Marincin’s absence once again.

Who's in Goal:

The Prince George Cougars got a strong outing from Drew Owsley on Wednesday in Kelowna and he could very well get another start tonight against Vancouver. That being said, head Coach Dean Clark was undecided this morning when asked about his netminder. This weekend could very well open up the door for Devon Fordyce to earn one or both of the starts depending on how things go. Time will tell who gets the call in net for the Cougars.


Special teams has been a factor in most of the recent losses for Prince George. If their power play can get on track, they’ll have a great chance at defeating Vancouver tonight at CN Centre. The Cougars have done a great job of creating power play opportunities for themselves, and now it’s time start converting.

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