Monday, October 31, 2011

Coaches Meet and Greet - Nov. 2nd

The Prince George Cougars are inviting all season-ticket holders to the Annual ‘Meet and Greet’ with the coaching staff on Wednesday, November 2nd at the CN Centre Ice Lounge. The event goes from 4:30 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. and provides season-ticket holders with an exclusive opportunity to get to know the coaches on a more personal level.

“This is a chance for our fans to ask our coaches any questions that they may have in order to get to know our team even better,” said Prince George Cougars Vice President Brandi Brodsky. “We want to build one-on-one relationships with our greatest supporters and events like this will help us achieve that.”

“We are so thankful for our season-ticket holders,” said Prince George Cougars Head Coach Dean Clark. “Their support means a lot to the organization, and I hope to see a big turnout on Wednesday.”

After a victory on Saturday against Vancouver, The Prince George Cougars are back in action Friday night at home against the Kamloops Blazers.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cats Tame the Giants 2-1.

The Prince George Cougars are back in the win column following Saturday’s dramatic 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. Alex Forsberg’s third of the season came late on the power play to seal the deal for the Cougars.

It was a scoreless game after one period of play but the Vancouver Giants came out firing. They outshot Prince George 9-4, but were denied time and again by Drew Owsley who made many highlight-reel saves throughout the game.

Halfway through the second period the Cougars got on the board first when Greg Fraser stole the puck away from Marek Tvrdon and buried a short-handed marker past Jackson Whistle to make it 1-0.

The Giants struck back late in the period on a power play when Tvrdon slid a beautiful pass across the ice to James Henry, who roofed one over the shoulder of Owsley to make it 1-1.

The Cougars were the better team in the third though and it showed on the shot-clock. The Cougars outshot the Giants 8-4, and killed off an early penalty to keep momentum going in their favour. Late in the period Neil Manning took a penalty for cross-checking and the Cougars were given a late man-advantage.

Charles Inglis took a shot from the left-circle that got on net through traffic. Alex Forsberg pounced on the rebound for his third of the season, and the Cougars skated off to victory.

The Giants outshot Prince George 29-17 in a losing cause and finished one-for-seven on the power play. Prince George went one-for-three.

The Cougars will look to keep the wins coming on Friday when they welcome the Kamloops Blazers to town.

Cougars - Giants Preview (Oct. 29th)

Tonight the Prince George Cougars and Vancouver Giants square off for the third time this week. The Cougars are 0-2 against the Giants so far and have been outscored 10-4 in the process.


The Vancouver Giants top trio of Brendan Gallagher, Marek Tvrdon and James Henry was silenced last night, but it didn’t matter. The reason being: Jordan Martinook. Martinook scored three times and has now tallied nine times on the season. Martinook always seemed to find himself in the right place, and used his quick shot to his advantage.


20-year-old Neil Manning returned to the Giants lineup last night after missing a handful of games with an injury. Manning provides the Giants with dependability and skill. He’s a good puck-mover and he’s defensively responsible. The Giants are a better team when Manning is healthy and contributing.


20-year-old Adam Morrison was the winning netminder during both previous meetings between these teams this week. Morrison now has a 6-2 record as a Giant after being acquired in a trade with the Saskatoon Blades earlier in the season. Last night Morrison stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced. He is backed up by 16-year-old Jackson Whistle who may get a shot tonight given that it’s two games in two nights..


Brendan Gallagher was a big-time threat for Vancouver on Tuesday but was kept quiet last night. Jesse Forsberg was all over Gallagher in last night’s game, and used strong physicality to keep him to the outside. Gallagher is very skilled and has one of the quickest shots in the entire WHL. The Cats will need to do their best to keep Gallagher and his linemates to the outside again, and minimize their opportunities on the power play.

Who’s Up Front:

How valuable is Charles Inglis to this team’s offense? Inglis has tallied seven points in five games this season and had a strong outing for the Cougars in last night’s 4-2 loss. Inglis scored on the power-play, and made a great diving play to help set up Cody Carlson’s earlier power play marker. With Brett Connolly gone a lot of the offense onus is now on Inglis, and he’s showing that he’s up to the task so far.


When the Cougars were down 3-0 in the third period Captain Jesse Forsberg rose to the occasion. Forsberg planted a big body-check on Brendan Gallagher, and less than two minutes later the Cougars scored on the power play. Forsberg won’t wow you with his flash, but he’ll bring the fans to their feet with his passion and his physicality.


Drew Owsley has started in all but one game so far this season for the Cougars and more or less has provided the Cougars with clutch saves. That being said, it might be time for Devon Fordyce to get a shot. His last start came on October 7th in Brandon against the Wheat Kings. Regardless of who gets the call tonight, it’ll be up to the goaltender to keep the Cougars in it and make timely saves when called upon.


Troy Bourke returns to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for a boarding-major on Wednesday. Bourke adds instant offense to the Cougars, who are now getting closer to having their full lineup back. Bourke will add a strong presence to the Cougars power play, and his play-making ability is a nice compliment to anybody that he’s paired with. A big night from Bourke and the Cougars could very well skate off the ice with two points in their pocket.

Cougars Comeback Falls Short Against Vancouver.

The Prince George Cougars comeback bid fell short in the third period of a 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Giants. Jordan Martinook scored three times for Vancouver while Charles Inglis and Alex Forsberg each responded with two points for Prince George.

The Vancouver Giants led 1-0 after one as Jordan Martinook opened the scoring at 5:33. The Cougars had several chances of their own but Brock Hirsche hit a goal-post and Jesse Forsberg fired a shot inches wide of the target.

The Cougars came on in waves in the second as well. Campbell Elynuik dashed through two defenders but was stunned by Adam Morrison who kept the 1-0 lead for his team. The Giants then responded with another goal from Martinook who capitalized at 10:43 to give the Giants the 2-0 lead.

Early in the third the Giants increased their lead when Dalton Sward beat Drew Owsley with a wrist-shot from the right-wing. A shot that Drew Owsley may have wanted another shot at.

Then the tide turned. Jesse Forsberg threw a big-time body check on Brendan Gallagher, and moments later the Cats capitalized on a power play. Cody Carlson rifled one home from the left point for his first of the season and the Cougars were in business.

Charles Inglis then made it 3-2 with his fourth of the season on another power play opportunity moments later.

But the momentum fizzled from there as Jordan Martinook capitalized off a Cougars turnover at their blueline to notch his third of the game and ninth of the season. From there it was game over for the Cougars who were outshot 27-22.

The Cats did find some life on the power play though and finished the game two-for-eight while the Giants finished zero-for-three.

The Cougars get Troy Bourke back from suspension tomorrow night, and will get another crack at the Vancouver Giants. The Cougars and Giants meet at 7:00 tomorrow night from CN Centre.

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.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kelowna Squeaks Past Cougars

Wednesday night in Kelowna the Prince George Cougars put 60 strong minutes together effort-wise, but still fell short 2-1 to the Kelowna Rockets. Defenceman Myles Bell scored an early third period power play which proved to be the game winner.

The Cougars ran into some penalty trouble early as Troy Bourke received a five-minute boarding major just 22 seconds into the game. Bourke was kicked out of the game, leaving the Cougars without one of their leading goal scorers.

Even without Bourke in the game, the Cougars were easily the better team after one period of play. They outshot Kelowna 11-6, and had a strong edge territorially. Greg Fraser came very close to giving the Cougars the lead, but was stopped on a breakaway by Adam Brown. Unfortunately for the Cougars they went into the locker room trailing 1-0 thanks to Shane McColgan’s fourth of the season.

It was more of the same in the second period. The Cougars outshot Kelowna 8-5, and controlled the game for the most part, but a couple of missed power play opportunities cost the Cougars and they skated into the locker room after 40-minutes still trailing 1-0.

Early in the third period the Rockets extended their lead on the power play. Myles Bell one-timed a pass through traffic that beat Drew Owsley, and the Rockets led 2-0.

Back came the Cougars when Charles Inglis sent a beautiful pass cross-crease to a waiting Jarrett Fontaine who buried his third of the season, and second in as many nights.

The Cougars were given one more opportunity on the power play but Rockets goaltender Adam Brown held his ground. In the end the Kelowna netminder stopped 28 of 29 shots that he faced while Drew Owsley turned aside 15 of the 17 shots that he faced.

The Cougars ended up outshooting the Rockets by a 29-17 margin, but still would up short on the score board. Kelowna went one-for-three on the power play while Prince George finished zero-for-four.

The Cougars head home with a record of 3-10-0-1. They welcome the Vancouver Giants for two weekend games which go Friday and Saturday from CN Centre. A reminder that Friday night's game is "Student Night" and tickets will be discounted for all students who show their student ID card at Ticketmaster. There will also be a loonie-grab taking place during the second intermission courtesy of RBC.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cougars Congratulate Brett Connolly. (Updated)

The Prince George Cougars would like to congratulate forward Brett Connolly (1992-Prince George) for making the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League.

So far this season Connolly has tallied two assists through nine games, and has received rave reviews from his teammates and his coaching staff.

“We are very happy and proud for Brett,” said Prince George Cougars General Manager Dallas Thompson. “He worked very hard this summer to be ready for NHL camp, and we know that he’ll represent Prince George and the Cougars very well in the National Hockey League.”

Connolly certainly made his mark in Prince George with 86 career goals and 152 points in 144 career games played. Connolly was drafted sixth overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010 and played for Canada at last year’s World Junior Hockey Championship tournament in Buffalo, NY.

Over the years, the Cougars have developed numerous prominent NHLers like: Zdeno Chara (Boston, Stanley Cup captain 2011), Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg, Stanley Cup champion 2010), Eric Brewer (Tampa Bay), Dan Hamhuis (Vancouver), Devin Setoguchi (Minnesota), Chris Mason (Winnipeg) and Brett Connolly can now be added to that list.

Cougars - Rockets Preview.

The Prince George Cougars will battle the Kelowna Rockets for the first time this season tonight at Prospera Place in Kelowna.


The Kelowna Rockets currently sit fourth in the BC Division with a record of 4-7-1-0. Kelowna has dropped two in a row, and similar to the Cougars have only won two games in their last 10.


18-year-old Shane McColgan leads the Rockets with 14 points in 13 games. The 18-year-old from Manhattan Beach, California has three goals, and will likely see a lot of power play time for Kelowna should they be given the opportunity. McColgan is a shifty player who needs to be contained.


Before the season started, the Rockets acquired defenceman Myles Bell from the Regina Pats and that move has already paid off significantly for the Rockets. Bell has four goals and 12 points so far this season – three of his goals have been scored on the power play. The Cougars will need to force Bell to make quick decisions with the puck, and they’ll need to continue to block shots and get in the way of the shooting lanes.


20-year-old Adam Brown is widely expected to get the call tonight for Kelowna. The 20-year-old is in his fourth season with Kelowna and has a record of 4-6 with a Goals Against Average of 3.88 and a save percentage of .880.


Kelowna’s top goal scorer right now is 18-year-old right winger Colton Sissons. Sissons has scored seven goals in 12 games this season and will be another one that the Cougars will need to take note of. If the Cougars can silence the likes of Sissons and McColgan they stand a great chance at winning tonight, and ending their two-game road trip tied with Kelowna in the standings.


The Prince George Cougars are 3-9-0-1 and currently sitting in fifth place in the BC Division. A win for the Cougars tonight would help them leap-frog the Everett Silvertips in the conference standings, and would tie them with Kelowna with nine points each.


The Prince George Cougars snapped an 11 period scoreless drought last night in the second period. The culprit was Jarrett Fontaine. Fontaine played lots last night alongside Jake Mykitiuik and Alex Forsberg and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if those three got another look tonight. Even though all are 16, all are very gifted with the puck, and what they may lack in size they make up for it with heart and speed.


Cody Carlson has been Mr. Everything for the Prince George Cougars this season. The 20-year-old has eight points, and has provided a steady defensive presence for the Cougars all season. A big night at both ends of the ice for Carlson would go a long way for the Cougars to get a win tonight in Kelowna.


Drew Owsley was pulled last night after 20 minutes in favor of Devon Fordyce. No word yet as to whether Dean Clark will go back with the 20-year-old Owsley, or whether he’s going to give Devon Fordyce his second WHL start.


This one is a no brainer. Charles Inglis returns to the Cat’s lineup tonight after serving a 10 game suspension that he received on October 1st. Inglis provides the Cougars with instant offense and energy. He has three goals in three games this season, and will help in all areas, particularly the power play. You know that Inglis will be ready to go tonight, and I expect a strong game from him at both ends of the ice.

Giants 6 - Cougars 2

Tuesday night in Vancouver the Prince George Cougars dropped a 6-2 decision to the Vancouver Giants. Marek Tvrdon scored twice, while Cain Franson tallied three assists for the Giants.

Vancouver led 3-0 after one period of play. The Giants got a short-handed marker from Dalton Sward and then followed that up with a one-timed power play tally from Tvrdon.

Austin Vetterl concluded the first period of scoring when he knocked home a Cain Franson rebound in the final minute of the frame.

The Cougars drew first blood in the second period when Jake Mykitiuk slid a gorgeous pass across the ice to Jarrett Fontaine who wired a one-timer past Adam Morrison.

Less than a minute later things got ugly. Martin Marincin took an interference penalty at center-ice, and a line-brawl ensued. After the dust settled Jesse Forsberg, Troy Bourke, and Martin Marincin were all kicked out of the game. Linden Springer would eventually be kicked out as well for a fight that occurred later in the period. Overall the two teams combined for over 180 minutes in penalties throughout the game.

The Giants added two more to their total later in the second. Brendan Gallagher one-timed home a pass from Marek Tvrdon to make it 4-1, and then Tvrdon added a short-handed goal to make it 5-1 Vancouver after 40 minutes.

The Cougars added to their offense in the third when Campbell Elynuik scored his first goal in a Prince George Cougars uniform. The play was created by Josh Smith who sent a hard-low point-shot on goal through traffic, and Elynuik buried the rebound.

Austin Vetterl wrapped up the scoring with his second of the game and the game ended 6-2.

The Cougars went zero-for-six on the power play while allowing two power play goals and two short-handed goals against. The Cougars were outshot 24-29.

The Cougars record now sits at 3-9-0-1. They’ll look to add a win to their record tomorrow night in Kelowna against the Rockets.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pre-Game Thoughts from Vancouver.

I am typing this from my hotel room which is mere minutes away from the Pacific Coliseum where tonight's game will be taking place. Tonight's game marks the first time I'll get to call a game from the Coliseum, and while I don't normally get nervous before games, tonight's is an exception.

I grew up just outside of Vancouver in Tsawwassen and was very fortunate to enjoy many hockey games (both NHL and otherwise) at the Rink on Renfrew.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My parents told me to get in the car (I was five) and said that we were going some place fun. They wouldn't tell me where or what we were doing. When we arrived at the PNE we got out, and immediately I thought they were taking me to Play Land. Nope. As we got closer to the Pacific Coliseum my Dad said to me, "Dan do you know what happens here? This is where the Vancouver Canucks play their hockey games."

Wide-eyed I asked, "Can we go get an autograph!"

He responded, "Well maybe. Because tonight Mom and I are taking you to see the Vancouver Canucks play the Los Angeles Kings."

I could not believe it! My very first game!

I remember watching Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings skate to a 4-4 tie with the Vancouver Canucks. My clearest memory from the game itself was the fact that I was scared for the Canucks to score because the Pacific Coliseum was SO LOUD!

Needless to say I got more comfortable with the loud noise from goals being scored, and the Pacific Coliseum truly was one of my favorite places to go. Period.

The Canucks moved into GM Place in the Mid-90's and for awhile the only time I went to the Pacific Coliseum was for concerts. But when the Vancouver Giants arrived on the scene, the Coliseum was once again a popular hangout for yours truly.

My classmates and I would attend Giants games and take photos through the glass. Then in 2004 my family started billeting for the Vancouver Giants, which provided even more of a reason for me to attend the games.

I was THAT kid who sat in the far corner, away from everybody with my hand-held tape recorder, and I practiced my play-by-play. I remember driving home from games thinking to myself, "One day I'll get to call a game for real at the Coliseum."

Well tonight's the night.

Tonight I proudly represent the visiting Prince George Cougars in Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum, and I can't tell you how sweet it would be to call a victory for my team in this building.

In my opinion the Cougars are on the verge of turning a corner. Their defense was terrific this past weekend at home, and it will only get better with the addition of Josh Smith in the lineup.

Add the fact that Charles Inglis returns tomorrow, and Brock Hirsche's return is coming sooner than later, and all of a sudden this Cougars team looks quite a bit different.

It's easy to look at a 3-8-0-1 record and feel disappointed, but it's a long season and there is still plenty of time for things to get turned around. The future is bright, but so is the present.

Is tonight the night?

Cougars - Giants Preview.

Tonight marks the first of eight meetings between the Prince George Cougars and the Vancouver Giants. The Cougars went 3-5 against the Giants last season, and are hoping that a road matchup with a divisional foe will help push them back into the win column.


The Vancouver Giants have won their last two games, and head into tonight’s matchup with a 6-6-0-1 record overall. Good enough for third place in the B.C. Division with 13 points.


20-year-old left winger James Henry is the offensive leader for the Vancouver Giants. Henry has only scored three goals, but he’s managed 15 assists already this season. Henry is defensively responsible and logs a ton of key minutes for Don Hay’s team.


Defenceman David Musil is enjoying a fine third season in the Western Hockey League. The Edmonton Oilers draft-pick has recorded 10 points through 13 games, and leads all Giants defenders in scoring. He also adds a big body to the mix at 6’3” and 191 pounds. I’m expecting to see a lot of David Musil on the ice tonight for Vancouver.


20-year-old Adam Morrison was acquired earlier this season from the Saskatoon Blades. So far Morrison has posted a 4-2 record in a Giants uniform with a 2.79 GAA and a save percentage of .899. Jackson Whistle and Brenden Jensen are the other two goalies currently listed on the Giants roster.


Giants forward Brendan Gallagher recorded seven points in three games last week. Those numbers were good enough to earn him WHL Player of the Week honors. Gallagher leads the team with 10 goals, and so far has 17 points through nine games. Keeping Gallagher in check will be extremely key for the Prince George Cougars.


The Prince George Cougars head into tonight’s game looking to snap a five-game losing skid. The Cougars are coming off two tough 1-0 losses to the Tri City Americans. Their record is 3-8-0-1.


If the Cougars are going to snap out of their offensive funk, their veterans will have to lead the charge. 20-year-old forward Spencer Asuchak was one of the more consistent forwards during the recent homestand, and he seems like he’s on the verge of a breakout game offensively. So far Asuchak has six points through 13 games and is a +3 on the year.


17-year-old Josh Smith is eligible to return from a four-game suspension that he received on October 10th in Moose Jaw. Smith’s presence will help solidify a defence-core that should be feeling pretty good about itself after keeping the Tri City Americans to just two goals in two games this weekend. I look for a spirited effort tonight from Josh Smith.


Drew Owsley was marvelous in both games this past weekend against Tri City. He battled for everything, and most importantly he gave the Cougars a chance to win both games. If Owsley gets the call tonight he’ll need to have a big game again. Otherwise the ball may fall into the lap of backup Devon Fordyce who hasn’t played since October 7th in Brandon.


Call it a hunch but 17-year-old forward Troy Bourke appears to be on the verge of a breakout game as well. Bourke is a very gifted offensive play-maker and had some great chances to score this weekend against Tri City. A big outing from Bourke would go a long way for the Cougars in their quest to snap their losing streak.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cougars - Americans Photos (Oct 22)

Campbell Elynuik Breaks Down the Wing.

Drew Owsley Had a Phenomenal Weekend.

Some rough Stuff at the End.

All photos by: Julie Larson

Americans 1 - Cougars 0 (Again)

A better effort, but unfortunately a similar result for the Prince George Cougars. Saturday night in Prince George, the Cougars lost another 1-0 decision to the Tri City Americans. Nathan McMaster had the game’s lone goal at 5:23 of the second period, and Eric Comrie grabbed his second straight shutout.

The Cougars put forth a strong 60-minute effort. They outshot the Americans 30-25 overall, and had numerous chances to score both five-on-five and on the power play. Spencer Asuchak, Troy Bourke and Greg Fraser all had terrific chances in the third period, but the Cats were unable to capitalize.

Drew Owsley was tremendous again in goal for the Cougars. He stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced, and for a second straight night held a strong offensive club to just one goal. The one that beat him tonight was scored on a re-direction from McMaster that would be difficult to duplicate in any other situation. Many of Owsley’s saves were of the highlight variety and he will head into this week’s set of road-games with confidence.

The Cougars went zero-for-seven on the power play and killed off all five Tri City power play opportunities.

The Cats return to action on Tuesday night in Vancouver against the Giants. Tuesday’s game marks the first meeting between these B.C. Division Rivals.

Back At It.

After a whirl-wind couple of days, I have safely touched down in Prince George, and with great excitement I can say that I'll be back in the broadcast booth for tonight's tilt between the Prince George Cougars and Tri City Americans.

Missing broadcasts is never fun, but in this instance I had to attend a family funeral in Fort Frances, ONT, and when it comes to family, you do what you have to do. I sincerely thank the Prince George Cougars organization for their empathy and understanding as well. Without their grace and strong values, chances are I wouldn't have been able to join my family for my Grandma's memorial.

I also want to take a quick moment to thank the broadcast team of Allan Bristowe and Brent Arsenault for taking over admirably last night. Allan agreed to fill in without complaint and in my opinion called a great game. Brent's color was strong also. On behalf of myself and my entire family - Thanks guys!

While I'm at it, I want to thank the management at 99.3 The Drive for understanding the situation and allowing Friday's broadcast to move forward in the way that it did.

To my fellow staff within the Cougars organization. Thank you for taking on some added responsibility during my brief absence. I'm so grateful for your efforts, and just know that I appreciate your help and your support as well.

I also want to take a quick moment to thank those of who have sent me messages with their condolences. Losing a family member is never easy, and unfortunately I've lost three in the past two years, so here's hoping that this trend stops right now. I appreciate your messages more than you know, and it helps to be surrounded by such caring and supporting people both in Prince George and elsewhere.

Having watched most of last night's game, I definitely saw some positives from the Cougars, and hopefully tonight is the night that they can find some offense. It's jersey night at CN Centre, so here's hoping that a lively group of fans can help push the Cats onward to victory.

We'll chat at you tonight!

Thanks again to everybody.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Americans 1 - Cougars 0

Even with strong goaltending, and a gutsy night on the PK, the Prince George Cougars dropped a 1-0 decision to the Tri City Americans on Friday night in Prince George. Adam Hughesman had the game’s only goal, and Eric Comrie made 17 saves for the shutout.

The first period was scoreless as both teams traded chances. The shots were 12-9 in favor of the Tri City Americans.

The Americans grabbed the game’s lone goal late in the second when Adam Hughesman buried a spin-around backhand shot that slid underneath both Jesse Forsberg and Drew Owsley. For Hughesman it was his 12th of the season, and it was scored on a five-on-three man advantage.

The Cougars had two power play opportunities in the third period, but were unable to beat Comrie, who turned aside four shots on both the second and third period.

Credit the Cougars penalty-killers for hanging in there, and also Drew Owsley for making 31 saves against his former team.

Friday’s game marked the Cougars debut for forward Campbell Elynuik and defenceman Reid Jackson who both logged key minutes at both ends of the ice. The Cougars also had Jesse Forsberg back in the lineup who provided the Cougars with a physical and emotional spark even in defeat.

The Cougars record drops to 3-7-0-1 on the season, but they’ll get another crack at Tri City tomorrow night at CN Centre.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cougars - Americans Preview

The Prince George Cougars return to the friendly confines of CN Centre Friday night for their first of four meetings with the Tri City Americans. Last season these teams split their four-game set.



Jim Hiller’s Tri City Americans are 8-4 on the season and currently hold a three point lead on the Portland Winterhawks for first in the US Division. The Americans are coming off a victory at home against the Saskatoon Blades.

Who’s Up Front:

20-year-old Adam Hughesman is tied for the league lead in scoring with 23 points through 12 games. Hughesman’s 11 goals falls short of only Emerson Etem for the league lead. Hughesman needs to be contained, and the way the Cougars do that is through strong and disciplined defence.

Who’s on D:

18-year-old D-Man Zackary Yuen leads all Tri City defenders with nine points through 12 games. Yuen has scored three times, and also sits at a +7 for the season so far.

Who’s in Goal:

An interesting decision for coach Jim Hiller to make. Does he start the former Prince George Cougar Ty Rimmer? Or will he elect to go with 16-year-old Eric Comrie? Rimmer of course was dealt to Tri City this summer in exchange for goaltender Drew Owsley. Owsley may not have been dealt had it not been for the fact that Tri City had Eric Comrie waiting in the wings. So far Rimmer holds the edge with a 6-2 receord and a Goals Against of 1.78 and a save percentage of .945.


20-year-old forward Brendan Shinnimin’s numbers aren’t quite as flashy as Hughesman’s, but make no mistake – Shinnimin can do a lot of damage if he’s given enough time and space to do so. Shinnimin had 96 points in 60 games last season.



Having dropped three in a row, the Prince George Cougars are looking to get back on track on home ice. It won’t be easy against Tri City, but the Cougars will have plenty of motivation heading into this weekend.

Who’s Up Front:

19-year-old forward Campbell Elynuik makes his Cats debut up front this weekend. The 6’4 forward was acquired to add some size and jam up front. That being said, Elynuik can skate, and has some un-tapped offensive potential that the Cougars are hoping shines this season up North. If Elynuik can play the body, and endear himself early to his new fan-base, he’ll have no trouble fitting in with the Cougars.

Who’s on D:

This weekend also marks the debut of 18-year-old defenceman Reid Jackson. The former Lethbridge Hurricane is a strong puck-mover and should be an asset to the Cougars power play which has been streaky to start the season. The addition of Jackson only adds further depth to a defensive-group that should look pretty strong with the potential return of captain Jesse Forsberg this weekend as well. The additions of Jackson and Forsberg makes this team instantly better.

Who’s in Goal:

The one common denominator in all three Cougar victories this season has been the stellar play of Drew Owsley. Owsley will no doubt want to be at his best when he squares off against his former team for the first time. If the Cougars can supply some offense, I’d expect Drew Owsley to be in top form this weekend.


The Prince George Cougars need to find a way to get the crowd into the game. Having played eight of their first 10 games on the road, a home game almost seems like a foreign concept. The Cougars need to take the body, shoot the puck lots and stay within themselves defensively. If they can do these things at home, they’ll be right there with the Tri City Americans. A successful weekend at home should do wonders for this team’s confidence as they head to Vancouver and Kelowna this coming week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prince George Cougars and RBC Launch "School Spirit Photo Contest."

Attention All Students!!!

The Prince George Cougars are pleased to announce that they have partnered with RBC to present Student Night on Friday, October 28th when the Prince George Cougars host the Vancouver Giants. Students are invited to an enjoyable night out where they will have a chance to win some great prizes. RBC will be hosting a “Loonie Grab” on the ice during the second intermission. Ten students will be randomly selected from the designated student area in Section P to participate in the contest. There will be $1000 dollars worth of loonies up for grabs within a 30-second time frame.

In addition, the Prince George Cougars and RBC have also launched a photo contest through the Prince George Cougars Hockey Club Facebook page. Students are encouraged to upload photos showing their school spirit to the Cougars page at . The winning group (up to 12 people) will win a night in RBC’s corporate suite on the October 28th with tickets and refreshments provided by RBC.

All fans are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes to the game on October 28th and students 19+ are invited to attend a costume party in the Ice Lounge prior to puck-drop. Prizes will be given to students with the most creative costumes.

2011-2012 Prince George Cougars Promotions.

The Prince George Cougars are proud to release their promotional schedule for the 2011/2012 season. The kick-off begins on Saturday, October 22nd with Jersey Night. Fans are encouraged to wear their favourite jersey to the game as the Cougars take on the Tri-City Americans.

The Cougars are also pleased to announce that they have partnered with RBC to present Student Night on Friday, October 28th when the Prince George Cougars host the Vancouver Giants. Students are invited to an enjoyable night out where they will have a chance to win some great prizes. RBC will be hosting a “Loonie Grab” on the ice during the second intermission. Ten students will be randomly selected from the designated student area in Section P to participate in the contest. There will be $1000 dollars worth of loonies up for grabs within a 30-second time frame. In addition, the Prince George Cougars and RBC have also launched a photo contest through the Prince George Cougars Hockey Club Facebook page. Students are encouraged to upload photos showing their school spirit to the Cougars page at . The winning group will win a night in RBC’s corporate suite on the October 28th with tickets and refreshments provided by RBC.

All fans are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes to the game on October 28th and students 19+ are invited to attend a costume party in the Ice Lounge prior to puck-drop. Prizes will be given to students with the most creative costumes.

The Cougars promotional schedule includes some new promotions such as the DBIA’s Downtown Business Bash, FortisBC’s “Go Green” game and Faith Night. Old favourites include Mascot Mania, Minor Hockey Night and “Tour Your Own Town,” sponsored this season by Aspen Grove Golf Course.

“We are looking forward to all the theme nights we have planned this season,” said Cougars Vice President, Brandi Brodsky. “They add an extra element of entertainment to our game nights and give us a chance to showcase our sponsors in an engaging way.”

Saturday, October 22nd- Jersey Night
Friday, October 28th- RBC Student Night/Halloween Costume Night
Saturday, October 29th- 99.3 the Drive World Junior Grand Prize Night
Friday, November 4th- PG DBIA Downtown Business Bash

Cougars Christmas Campaign- November 19th-December 17th, details will be released shortly

Tuesday, November 22nd- Movember Shave-Off
Friday, December 16th- Faith Night
Saturday, December 17th- Teddy Bear Toque Toss/Ugly Christmas Sweater Night
Wednesday, December 28th- Family Night
Friday, January 13th- FortisBC Minor Hockey Night
Saturday, January 28th- United Way Campaign Wrap-up/Heroes Night
Saturday, February 4th- Mascot Mania
Wednesday, February 15th- Seniors Night
Saturday, February 25th- Minor Sports Night
Friday, March 2nd- Aspen Grove Golf Course “Tour Your Own Town”
Wednesday, March 7th- FortisBC “Go Green Game”/First 150 people get a shower timer

To book your group tickets to a Cougars game contact the Cougars office at 250-561-0783.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Personal Take on the Trades.

Heading into this weekend there will be at least two new faces in the lineup for the Cougars when they welcome the Tri City Americans on Friday and Saturday.

If you missed it, the Cougars have dealt Nick Buonassisi to the Lethbridge Hurricanes in exchange for 18-year-old defenceman Reid Jackson and a fifth-round pick in 2012. Also the Cougars have added 19-year-old forward Campbell Elynuik from the Pats for a conditional sixth-round pick in 2012.

Obviously time will tell what these trades will accomplish for the Cougars, but on the surface I really like what Dallas Thompson has done.

Let me preface that thought by first saying that I thought the world of Nick Buonassisi and so did his teammates. He's a great kid, and a fine hockey player and should be able to help Lethbridge offensively.

That being said you have to give something to get something, and the Cougars get a defenceman that statistically has shown that he can play at a high level in the WHL. Last season he recorded 20 points for Lethbridge which gives Dean Clark another offensively capable blue-liner that can maybe take away some of the pressure from Martin Marincin and Cody Carlson.

It's no secret that Jesse Forsberg's absense has hurt the Cougars in a number of ways, but hopefully this weekend Forsberg will be cleared to play, then you add Jackson the mix, and all of a sudden you've got a defence-core that looks like this:

Gibb - Carlson

Marincin - Forsberg

Pilling - Jackson

Mylchreest - Springer

Smith (Suspended)

The addition of Elynuik up front gives Prince George more size, and also some more grit. Elynuik has a goal, two assists and 24 penalty minutes this season. He's not afraid to fight, but more importantly he can provide the Cats some physicality that at times may have been lacking during their recent road-trip.

Who knows where Dean Clark plans to use Elynuik up front, but certainly the additional of a guy like Eylynuik for a mid-conditional pick has to be seen as a WIN for this club.

At the end of the day the addition of both Jackson and Elynuik makes the Cougars a deeper team, and probably a better team in the long-run.

Cats Swing a Deal with the Pats.

The Prince George Cougars have acquired 19-year-old forward Campbell Elynuik (Calgary, AB) from the Regina Pats in exchange for a conditional sixth-round draft pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.

Elynuik is 6’4”, 190 pounds and through eight games with the Pats has tallied one goal, two assists and 24 penalty-minutes.

Elynuik had spent the two previous seasons playing with the Everett Silvertips.

The Prince George Cougars are back in action Friday at home against the Tri City Americans.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cougars Acquire Reid Jackson from Lethbridge.

The Prince George Cougars have traded 19-year-old forward Nick Buonassisi (Coquitlam, B.C.) to the Lethbridge Hurricanes in exchange for 18-year-old defenceman Reid Jackson (Weyburn, SK) and a fifth-round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.

Last season Jackson played in 50 games for the Lethbridge Hurricanes and tallied three goals and 20 points along with 64 penalty minutes. So far this season Jackson has played in seven games and has managed one assist and 10 penalty minutes.

Buonassisi has spent his entire junior career with the Prince George Cougars and has two goals and two assists through 10 games this season.

The Prince George Cougars are back in action Friday night at home against the Tri City Americans.

Kamloops 3 - Prince George 0

The Prince George Cougars wrapped up their seven game road-trip with a 3-0 loss in Kamloops. Dylan Willick scored the game-winner at 9:47 of the second period, and goaltender Cole Cheveldave recorded a 26-save shutout.

The Cougars came out firing in the first period and definitely out-chanced Kamloops. But the Cougars were unable to take advantage of two power play chances, and they skated into the dressing room tied zero-zero after one.

The Blazers got on the board first when Dylan Willick deflected home a Tyler Hansen point-shot past Drew Owsley.

Moments later off a face-off the Blazers made it 2-0 when JC Lipon fed the puck to Colin Smith who capitalized.

Tim Bozon would add a third period marker for Kamloops who improved their record to 6-2.

The Cougars and Blazers each finished with 26 shots on goal. The Cougars went zero-for-four on the power play while Kamloops finished zero-for-two.

The Cougars finish their eastern road-swing with a 2-5 record having posted wins in Prince Albert and Regina.

The Cougars next game goes Friday night at home when they welcome the Tri City Americans for a Friday-Saturday weekend set.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cougars - Blazers Preview.

The Prince George Cougars will wrap up their lengthy seven game road swing tonight in Kamloops against the Blazers. These teams have met once already this season with the Cougars posting a 1-0 victory in Kamloops on September 24th. Charles Inglis had the lone goal of the game and Drew Owsley made 32 saves for the shutout.


The Kamloops Blazers are currently 5-2 and are currently first in the B.C. Division.

Who’s Up Front:

The Kamloops Blazers have a plethora of dangerous forwards that have the ability to take over a game. Heading into the weekend, Colin Smith led the way with nine points in his first six games. The 18-year-old Smith is showing also that he’s responsible defensively. Smith leads the Blazers with a +8 on the season.

Who’s on D:

The Blazers have gotten a strong offensive output from 19-year-old defenceman Austin Madaisky. Madaisky has recorded 10 points in seven games, and logs key minutes for the Blazers on the back-end. I’d expect to see plenty of Madaisky against Prince George tonight.

Who’s in Goal:

The Kamloops Blazers have a three different goaltending options heading into tomorrow night’s game. 19-year-old Cam Lanigan was the opening night starter for Kamloops and is 2-1 so far. 18-year-old Cole Cheveldave is 2-0 on the year, and has a goals against average of 2.00 and a save percentage of .909. 17-year-old Taran Kozun is 1-1 with a save percentage of .857 and a goals against of 3.52.


19-year-old Brandon Ranford did not dress for Kamloops on opening night because he was still serving the remainder of a suspension. In all likelihood Ranford will dress for Kamloops against the Cougars this time around, and will serve as one of the primary ‘go-too guys’ on offense. Ranford has recorded nine points in the four games he’s played in so far this season.


Dean Clark’s team has lost two in a row for a second time on this Eastern road-swing. The Cougars dropped a heart-breaker in Swift Current Wednesday by a 5-4 score. The Broncos sealed the deal with 38 seconds left in the game.

Who’s Up Front:

17-year-old forward Troy Bourke is the co-leader in goals with four, and is coming off a strong outing against the Swift Current Broncos. Bourke’s skill is complimented very nicely by his work-ethic. He doesn’t quit on the puck, and plays a strong team game as well. A big night from Bourke may be necessary if the Cougars want to win again in Kamloops.

Who’s on D:

The Cougars have a new leading point-scorer in defenceman Martin Marincin. The 19-year-old Slovak scored once and chipped in with two assists in Swift Current, and will look to build on that solid performance tonight in Kamloops. Marincin did not play in the Cougars 1-0 win in Kamloops on September 24th as he was still at camp with the Edmonton Oilers.


Special teams was a huge factor in the Cougars recent loss in Swift Current. The Cougars scored twice on the power play but surrendered three against. If the Cougars can win the special-teams war, they’ll have a great chance at winning the game on Saturday night.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Harris, Bolduc, and Edmonds To Play in U-16 Challenge Cup.

The Prince George Cougars are pleased to announce that three of their prospects will represent their respective Provinces at the 2011 Western Canada Under 16 Challenge Cup taking place in Moose Jaw later this month.

Forward Carson Bolduc (B.C.), defenceman Jordan Harris (Saskatchewan) and Ty Edmonds (Manitoba) have all made their teams and will play in a round-robin tournament October 27th through October 30th in Moose Jaw at Mosaic Place.

Defenceman Jordan Harris was selected in the first round by the Prince George Cougars in the 2011 Bantam Draft and is off to a strong start with the Prince Albert Mintos in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA league.

Forward Carson Bolduc was taken in the third round of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, and is playing Midget AAA with Kamloops of the B.C. Major Midget League.

Goaltender Ty Edmonds was selected by the Cougars in the ninth round of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, and went 8-3 last season playing Bantam with the Winnipeg Warriors.

The Cougars wish all three of their prospects well at the U-16 Challenge Cup.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Swift Current 5 - Prince George 4

Wednesday night in Swift Current, the Prince George Cougars fell 5-4 to the Swift Current Broncos. Brad Hoban scored his third of the night with 38 seconds left in the game to lift Swift Current to victory. Martin Marincin responded with three points for the Cougars.

The Prince George Cougars opened the scoring at 4:39 on the power play. Cody Carlson took an initial back-hand shot that Jon Groenheyde stopped, but Troy Bourke buried the rebound over his right shoulder for his fourth of the season.

Late in the first period Brad Hoban got Swift Current on the board when he converted on a two-on-one with Adam Lowry. The Cats outshot the Broncos 12-8 after one.

Swift Current opened a wild second period with a power play goal. Hoban notched his second of the night to give Swift Current the 2-1 lead.

Just over eight minutes later, the Cougars responded with one of their own. Greg Fraser finished off a nice passing play in front of the Swift Current goaltender to grab his second of the season.

65 seconds later t he Cougars grabbed the lead when Martin Marincin scored his first of the season on a power play point-shot that went through two sets of legs and into the net.

The Swift Current Broncos were then given a couple of power plays., and the second-ranked power play in the WHL went to work. Adam Lowry and Taylor Vause scored a minute and 34 seconds apart (both on power plays) to give Swift Current their second lead. It didn’t last long.

Austin Daae’s backhand shot was stopped by Jon Groenheyde, but Jake Mykitiuk pounced on the rebound to tie the score at four. That’s how the second period would end.

The third period was a totally different one. The teams only managed 10 shots combined, but unfortunately for the Cougars, the final shot of the game came off the stick of Brad Hoban. With less than a minute remaining, Hoban skated onto the ice, and receive a pass from Andy Blanke through traffic and snuck one through Drew Owsley to make it 5-4.

The game ended shortly thereafter with no further shots or chances.

The Cougars finished the night two-for-six on the power play and outshot Swift Current 31-20.

The loss gives Prince George a record of 3-5-0-1 on the season. They’ll wrap up their seven game road trip on Saturday night in Kamloops.

Cougars - Broncos Preview.

The Prince George Cougars have two games remaining on their seven-game East-Bound swing. Tonight the Cats will face the Swift Current Broncos for the one and only time this season.


The Swift Current Broncos are 2-4-1-0 on their season, and currently sit last in the Eastern Division. The Broncos are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Who’s Up Front:

20-year-old forward Taylor Vause leads the way for Swift Current with 11 points in his first seven games. The Calgary product has record four goals, and seven assists, and has provided Head-Coach Mark Lamb with dependable minutes. The Cougars will need to minimize his time and space, and force Vause into the tough areas of the icce.

Who’s on D:

18-year-old Czech defenceman Richard Nedomlel is off to a fine offensive start for 2011-2012. He has tallied eight points through seven games, and holds the team lead for scoring from the back-end. Add the fact that he’s 6’4” and weighs 225 pounds, and you’ve got a kid that will no doubt be a difficult presence in his own zone as well.

Who’s in Goal:

20-year-old Jon Groenheyde was recently acquired from the Edmonton Oil Kings in exchange for 20-year-old forward Jordan Peddle. Groenheyde is 1-1 so far during his tenure in Swift Current, and has already seen the Cougars once this season, albeit in pre-season play. Groenheyde was stellar for Edmonton during their September 9 pre-season victory against the Cougars at CN Centre. Coach Lamb may also decide to go with 18-year-old Austin Smith or 17-year-old Steven Myland who are also listed on the Swift Current roster.


Winnipeg Jet’s prospect Adam Lowery is off to a strong start in 2011-2012. The 18-year-old forward has tallied four goals, and eight points so far this season. Lowery stands 6’5” and will be a difficult guy to move in the defensive-zone. The Cougars will have to keep Lowery away from the front of their goal. If the Cats can keep Lowery and Vause pointless tonight, they’ll have a great shot at improving their record to 3-3 on this road-swing.


Dean Clark’s team is 2-3 so far on their seven game road-swing, and can improve their overall record to 4-4-0-1 with a victory tonight in Swift Current. The Cats are looking for some redemption after a tough 6-0 loss in Moose Jaw. So far this season the Cougars have shown a strong ability to bounce back after a tough prior performance.

Who’s Up Front:

20-year-old Spencer Asuchak is playing some fierce and determined hockey right now for Prince George. Asuchak has fit right in alongside his linemates Jordan Tkatch and Jarrett Fontaine. Asuchak is tied for the team-lead in points with six, and has been a strong presence at both ends of the ice. Asuchak is a +3 so far on the season his linemates are both a +4.

Who’s on D:

If the Prince George Cougars want to win tonight they’ll need to get back to the basics that allowed them to win in Regina. That means smart passes, an aggressive back-check, and lots of shot-blocks. Dan Gibb and Cody Carlson have been arguably the two most consistent players for the Cats defensively, and they’ll need to have another big night tonight in order to lift the Cougars over the Broncos.

Who’s in Goal:

Drew Owsley played the full 60-minutes for Prince George on Monday in Moose Jaw, and did not get a ton of help from his team. That being said, strong-goaltending has been a common-trend in each of the Cougars three victories this season. Either Drew Owsley or Devon Fordyce will need to be big, and perhaps steal a game in Swift Current tonight.


When the Prince George Cougars score the first goal they have a record of 3-1-0-1. When they don’t score first they are 0-3. Some take statistics far more seriously than others, but so far the Cougars have had a lot more sustained success when they’re able to score first in games. If the Cougars can draw first tonight, and put a little panic into the minds of the Broncos, I’m sure it will bode well for their confidence given the fact that this is game six of a seven-game road-swing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cats Add Daae to Roster.

The Prince George Cougars have added 1993-born forward Austin Daae (Estevan, SK) to their roster. Daae is 6’0” and weighs 194 pounds.

Last season Daae dressed in 12 games for the Saskatoon Blades and recorded two assists and 11 penalty minutes. Daae also played 22 games with the Moose Jaw Generals and tallied 45 points, averaging over two points per game.

This season Daae has played five games with the Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and has recorded six assists along with 17 penalty minutes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Warriors 6 - Cougars 0

Monday afternoon in Moose Jaw, the Prince George Cougars lost 6-0 to the Moose Jaw Warriors. Collin Bowman and Torrin White each had two goals while Luke Siemens made 21 saves for the shutout.

The Warriors scored twice in each period. Torrin White opened the scoring on a breakway at 6:06 of the first period, and 2:06 later Andrew Johnson put home a rebound on a backhanded shot.

The Cougars found some life shortly after the Warrior’s second goal. Tayler Thompson was able to set up Alex Forsberg with a glorious chance in front, but Luke Siemens stood tall and made a tough save.

The second period went back and forth with both teams getting their share of chances. The Cougars then lost the services of Josh Smith, who was removed from the game for a Major-Kneeing penalty on Sebastian Svendsen. The Warriors didn’t capitalize on their man-advantage, but did strike twice in the late stages of the second.

Collin Bowman netted his first of the season on a low wrist-shot from the right point that switched directions on Drew Owsley.. Carter Hanson then delivered the fourth Moose Jaw goal not long after Bowman’s goal.

Both Bowman and White added their second markers of the game to wrap it up in the third.

The Cougars were outshot 39-21 and finished zero-for-one on the power-play while Moose Jaw finished zero-for-five.

The Cougars will look to get back on track on Wednesday night when they take the ice in Swift Current.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cougars - Warriors Preview.

The Prince George Cougars are 2-2 on their current Eastern Road Swing and they’ll look to move over the .500 mark with a victory in Moose Jaw against the Warriors.


The Moose Jaw Warriors are 4-2 on the young season but are coming off a loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday. Like the Cougars, the Warriors are missing some key bodies up front, but have found a way to win games anyway.

Who’s Up Front:

20-year-old winger Brett Lyon has led the Warriors offensively to start the season. Lyon has tallied nine points so far through six games, and is one goal away from matching his total last season. Former Melfort Mustang Sean Aschim sits second in team scoring with eight points in six games.

Who’s on D:

17-year-old defenceman Morgan Rielly has shown early on why he is being touted as one of the top young defenceman in the Western Hockey League. Rielly has tallied six points in six games, and has a +5 so far this season for the Warriors. I’d expect to see a lot Rielly, particularly on the man-advantage.

Who’s in Goal:

19-year-old goaltender Luke Siemens was recently acquired by the Moose Jaw Warriors from Everett, and has posted a 1-1 record so far in his tenure with the Warriors. 17-year-old Spencer Tremblay is the other option for Moose Jaw. His record is 1-0 on they ear.


Defensively the Warriors are led by 19-year-old DyLan Mcllrath. The 6’5” blueliner has only dressed in two games so far this season, and is still searching for his first point. Mcllrath will likely get a ton of ice-time against Prince George, and will provide a steady presence at both ends of the ice.


Through seven games the Prince George Cougars hold a record of 3-3-0-1. The Cats are coming off a 2-0 victory over the Regina Pats, and will be looking to improve their record to 3-2 on this Eastern roadswing.

Who’s Up Front:

The impressive streak from 16-year-old forward Jordan Tkatch continued Saturday in Moose Jaw. Tkatch has recorded goals now in four straight games, and has earned his goals by simply doing the right things offensively. He’s gone to the tough areas, and outworked opponents to get his chances. What about five in a row? It’s certainly possible.

Who’s on D:

Collectively the Cougars were excellent on defense Saturday in Regina. They blocked a ton of shots and made life extremely difficult for the Regina shooters. If the Cougars can continue to block shots and block the shooting lanes, they will have a great chance at beating Moose Jaw.

Who’s in Goal:

After posting a 19-save shutout against the Pats, it would seem likely that Drew Owsley will get the call in Moose Jaw. But Dean Clark may want to get Devon Fordyce another shot. Either way the Cougars will need a solid outing from their net-minder, and both are very capable of providing that type of goaltending.


20-year-old Spencer Asuchak has quietly put together a very strong start to the season. Asuchak has six points through seven games, and has served as a great mentor for his two 16-year-old linemates Jarrett Fontaine and Jordan Tkatch. Asuchak is one of the taller forwards on the Cougars roster and has used his size, aggressiveness and experience to help the Cougars out significantly.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tkatch Strikes Again, and Owsley Shuts the Door.

Saturday night in Regina, the Prince George Cougars climbed back to the .500 mark with a 2-0 shutout victory in Regina over the first-place Regina Pats. Jordan Tkatch extended his goal-scoring streak to four straight games, and Drew Owsley made 19 saves for his second shut-out of the season.

The first two periods were scoreless, and both teams managed only 13 shots through the first 40 minutes. But early in the third period the Prince George Cougars took over. Jordan Tkatch went hard to the net and was rewarded with a loose-puck at the side off a Spencer Asuchak shot. Tkatch made no mistake and notched a goal for a fourth straight game.

One minute and 50 seconds later the Cats converted on a power play opportunity when Troy Bourke slid a gorgeous pass to Taylor Thompson back door. Thompson wasted no time in firing the puck past Matt Hewitt. For Thompson it was his second of the season, both of which have been scored on the power play.

From there, Drew Owsley did his thing. He made a series of important stops throughout the game, but none more important than a glove save off of Jordan Weal in the final minute to keep his shutout bid alive.

The Cougars outshot Regina 26-19 and finished one-for-four on the power play. The Regina Pats finished zero-for-three on the man-advantage.

The victory improves the Cougars record to 3-3-0-1, and gives them a road record of 3-2-0-0 on the season. The Cougars are back in action on Monday afternoon when they face the Moose Jaw Warriors at 12:00 Saskatchewan time.

Saturday Morning Thoughts.

The Prince George Cougars are nearly a full week into their Eastern swing, and so far have totaled one win, and two losses. Tonight they go up against the team with the best record in the WHL in the Regina Pats.

Tonight's game has the potential to be a real statement game for the Cats as they head into hostile territory. Had it not been for a bad 7:25 span last night in Brandon, they may have very well beaten the Brandon Wheat Kings. What a boost of confidence it would be for Dean Clark's bunch to go into Regina and take two points from the league's hottest team.

In order for them to do so they'll need to stay disciplined, and I'm not just talking about penalties.

Over the past two games, the Cougars have been guilty of pinching at inopportune times, and they're coverage in front of their own net (collectively, not just defenceman) has not been good enough.

In order to win on the road most nights you need to simplify your game and take advantage of your opponents mistakes. You force mistakes by playing smart, and aggressively.

I credit the Cougars for the fact that they haven't been backing down, and they haven't shown any real quit so far this season. But 50-minute efforts are not going to win you many games.

If you look at the two victories this season for Prince George against Kamloops and Prince Albert, the recipe for success was very similar: Strong defense, good discipline, and a tireless work ethic.

If they do that tonight, they stand a great chance of winning.


I've received plenty of feedback from parents, and fans regarding the broadcasts so far this season. With each passing game I'm feeling more comfortable in the booth, and i hope that it shows in the product of the broadcast. I again want to thank both Cody Nickolet and Matt Ryan for their help earlier this week, and tonight I'll get to join forces with another great broadcaster in Mitchell Blair.

I worked with Mitchell last season in the SJHL, and he is definitely a guy who I've been able to learn a lot from, and it'll be so much fun getting a chance to call a game alongside him.

Although I am a B.C. boy, many of you know that I hold Saskatchewan very near to my heart, and I am so excited for the chance to call my first game in Regina, Moose Jaw and Swift Current.


I don't normally say these things publically, but I've got a great feeling about tonight's game. The puck drop is still over seven hours away, but I wish it was sooner.

Have a great Saturday, and we'll talk to you from the rink tonight!
The Prince George Cougars face a quick turnaround from last night’s 6-3 loss in Brandon. Tonight they’re at the Brandt Center facing the team with the best record in the WHL, the Regina Pats.


Last season the Regina Pats missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season, but have jumped quickly of of the gate in 2011-2012. New Head Coach Pat Conacher has his club playing a strong and well-rounded game. The Pats have only surrendered 16 goals against in their first six games while they’ve scored 25 times.

Who’s Up Front:

LA Kings prospect Jordan Weal leads the way for Regina with 10 points through six games. Weal has managed just two goals in that span, but has continued to define himself as one of the WHL’s premiere play-makers. In fact one of the most impressive facts about the Regina Pats is that they seem to score by committee every night. Their leading goal-scoerer is Dyson Stevenson who has three.

Who’s on D:

20-year-old defenceman Brandon Davidson is off to a fine start this season. He’s tallied one goal and seven points so far, and has held it together defensively. He’s a +2 to start the season and I would expect to see lots of Davidson tonight.

Who’s in Goal:

For a third straight game, the Prince George Cougars run the risk of facing a red-hot goaltender. 19-year-old Matt Hewitt is 5-0 on the season and has provided exceptional netminding for the Regina Pats so far this season. He’s got a goals against average of 2.16 and a save percentage over .92. That being said, it will be two games in two nights for the Pats as well, and they may decide to dress backup Adam Beukeboom. Beukeboom is 0-1 this season, with a save percentage of .846.


16-year-old Morgan Klimchuk has identical numbers to Prince George Cougars 16-year-old Alex Forsberg. Klimchuk’s two goals and four assists puts him alone in fifth for team scoring. The Pats boast several offensive weapons, and Klimchuk is certainly one of them.


Dean Clark’s team currently has a record of 2-3-0-1 on the young season. After a victory October 4th in Prince Albert, the Cats have dropped two straight games (Saskatoon and Brandon). One could argue that had it not been for a bad seven minutes last night in Brandon, the result may have been much different.

Who’s Up Front:

16-year-old forward Jordan Tkatch is on a three-game goal-scoring streak, and seems to be playing with more confidence with each passing day. Tkatch has shown a strong nose for the net, and great patience. Credit must also go to his line-mates Jarrett Fontaine and Spencer Asuchak, who have probably been the most consistent trio of forwards so far on this trip for Prince George. Can Tkatch make it four in a row?

Who’s on D:

17-year-old Josh Smith was the lone defenceman to get on the score-sheet last night for the Cats. Smith has tallied three assists so far this season, and has fit nicely alongside Martin Marincin. Smith’s game is still raw in some areas, but you can definitely see why the Prince George Cougars selected him in the first-round of the 09 Bantam Draft.

Who’s in Goal:

After a tough second period for Devon Fordyce last night, he was pulled in favor of Drew Owsley. I would expect Owsley will be strongly considered for tonight’s start given the record of the opponent, and how well he played last night in relief.


Special Teams at both ends. Inopportune penalties have cost the Cougars in each of their past two losses, and their power play has struggled to find consistency through the first six games. If the Cougars can win the special-teams war, and start finding a little more success on the power play, there is no doubt that they can go head-to-head with the Regina Pats and leave the Brandt Center with two points, and a .500 record again.

Wheat Kings 6 - Cougars 3

Friday night in Brandon, the Prince George Cougars dropped their second consecutive game, a 6-3 score at the hands of the Brandon Wheat Kings. Michael Ferland scored three goals while Mark Stone added three assists in the victory.

Ultimately it was the second period that cost the Cougars. The Wheat Kings scored just 11 seconds into the second to the tie the score at two, and from there they scored three more in the span of seven minutes and 25 seconds to take a 5-2 lead into the third period. – A lead that they would not relinquish.

The Prince George Cougars opened the scoring at the 1:38 mark of the first period. Spencer Asuchak received a pass from Chase Witala, and burned by the defense to beat Corbin Boes on a breakaway.

The Wheat Kings tied the score on a power-play when Ryan Pulock buried a wrist-shot from the high slot.

The Cats quickly countered with their second of the night, and who else but Jordan Tkatch? The 16-year-old from Prud’Homme Saskatchewan has now tallied in three consecutive games, and the Cougars skated into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead, and a ton of confidence.

The second period was a different story. Brandon’s Alessio Bertaggia scored just 11 seconds into the frame, and 62 seconds later Michael Ferland gave Brandon the lead with his first of three goals. Ferland’s second of the game came just 1:26 later, and all of a sudden a 2-1 Cougars lead had turned into a 4-2 lead for Brandon. Carter Proft made it 5-2 at 7:36, which spelt the end for Prince George goaltender Devon Fordyce.

Fordyce was pulled in favor of Drew Owsley, who came in and stopped all 18 shots he faced. Fordyce surrendered five goals on 18 shots faced.

Troy Bourke scored early in the third period to give Prince George some life, and they had a power-play opportunity shortly thereafter, but were unable to take advantage. The Cougars finished zero-for-four on the man-advantage.

Michael Ferland added an empty-netter to seal the deal for the Wheat Kings. For Ferland it was his seventh goal of the season.

Brandon finished two-for-four on the power play and outshot Prince George 37-28. After the game head-coach Dean Clark said that there were some definite positives, but some lapses in the second period led to the downfall of the Cougars in Brandon.

The Cougars road record now sits at 2-2 while their overall record is 2-3-0-1. The Cats have a chance to get back to .500 for the road-trip and their season Saturday when they face the Regina Pats.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cats Name Jesse Forsberg Captain.

The Prince George Cougars are pleased to announce that 18-year-old defenceman Jesse Forsberg has been named team captain. The product of Waldheim, Saskatchewan is entering his third season as a Prince George Cougar and has totaled 32 points in 108 games played so far in his career.

“It’s obviously a huge honor to be named captain of the Cougars,” said Forsberg. “When I heard (the news) I was excited, but also ready to do a good job and lead this team to some great things.”

“We really like what Jesse brings to us both on and off the ice,” said Prince George Cougars Head Coach Dean Clark. “He works extremely hard, is extremely competitive, and has earned this role because of his hard work and dedication.”

Three alternate captains were also announced. 19-year-old forward Brock Hirsche, 19-year-old defenceman Daniel Gibb and 20-year-old defenceman Cody Carlson will serve as the assistants to Forsberg.

Forsberg added, “Gibby and Hirsche have been here with me through the tough times and the good times together, and Carlson has been in the league a long time and he knows how to win.”

The Prince George Cougars continue their seven-game road trip tonight in Brandon, Manitoba before heading back west for games against Regina, Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Kamloops.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cougars - Wheat kings Preview.

The Prince George Cougars continue their Eastern Road Swing Friday in Brandon against Cory Clouston’s Brandon Wheat Kings. The Wheat Kings are 3-1-0-1 on the season, and are coming off a 6-0 win at home over the Saskatoon Blades.

Who’s Up Front:

The Brandon Wheat Kings boast the league’s top scorer in 19-year-old forward Mark Stone. Stone has tallied five goals and eight assists through five games so far this season, and has a three point lead in the WHL scoring race. The Ottawa Senator’s product is averaging close to three points per game to start the season, and will need to be held in check if the Cats want to find success.

Who’s on D:

17-year-old defenceman Eric Roy leads the Wheat Kings on the back-end with seven points through five games this season. Roy is also a +5 so far this season, which shows that he’s more than simply an offensive threat.

Who’s in Goal:

18-year-old Corbin Boes is 2-1-0-1 so far this season and has seen action in four of the first five games for the Wheat Kings. Boes has a goals against average of 2.22 and a save percentage of .922. Liam Liston is the other netminder with Brandon who is 1-0, but his numbers are underwhelming. His goals against is 4.91 and his save percentage is .828.


Brandon Wheat Kings rookie forward Alessio Bertaggia has scored five times in the first five games, and is second in WHL Rookie Scoring with eight points. The Cats will need to figure out a way to keep Bertaggia silenced, as well as Mark Stone. If Bertaggia gets enough time and space to make plays, it could be a tough night in Brandon for the Cats.

Who’s Up Front:

16-year-old forward Jordan Tkatch has scored twice in his last two games, and has now tallied three points so far in five games. Tkatch was tied for the team lead in points during the pre-season and has shown early on that he’s poised for a solid rookie campaign in the Western Hockey League.

Who’s on D:

Martin Marincin has very quietly put up five points in five games to start the season. If the Cats want to find success in Brandon, they will need Marincin to log a lot of minutes, and be a productive force both offensively and defensively. A strong outing from Marincin will go a long way for the Cougars who are hoping for their third road victory of the season.

Who’s in Goal:

Drew Owsley has started all five games this season for the Cougars and could very well be in line for his sixth with two games coming up in two nights. Maybe Dean Clark will elect to go with backup Devon Fordyce and give the 17-year-old rookie a shot against the Wheat Kings.


In order for the Cats to find success in Brandon they will need steady production from their older forwards. Spencer Asuchak, Greg Fraser, and Nick Buonassisi are all forwards with some strong offensive upside, and they will need to make a solid impression early in tomorrow night’s game and put Brandon back on their heels. If the Cougars can score first, they’ll put themselves in a strong position to win.

Blades Down Cougars 4-1.

The Prince George Cougars are an even 1-1 on their current road-swing after dropping a 4-1 score to the Saskatoon Blades. Matej Stransky scored twice while Andrey Makarov stopped 26 of 27 shots faced to record his third victory.

The Blades opened the scoring late in the first period on the power play. Darren Dietz took an initial shot that was blocked, but he got the puck back and slid it underneath Drew Owsley to give the Blades a 1-0 lead. Saskatoon outshot Prince George 7-3 in the first period.

The Cats picked it up quite a bit in the second period, but were unable to beat Makarov. Both Alex Forsberg and Chase Witala were unable to capitalize on breakaways, and the Blades grabbed a 2-0 lead on Stransky’s first of the evening. Stransky tipped home a Duncan Siemens point-shot to help give the Blades a 2-0 lead.

Late in the period the Blades ran into penalty-trouble, and the Cougars were given a five-on-three power play for 52 seconds to start the third period, but were unable to capitalize.

Stransky struck for the second time in the third period, giving him five on the year, and more importantly for the Blades, it gave them a 3-0 lead.

The Cats got on the score-sheet close to the 15-minute mark of the third when Jordan Tkatch tucked home a puck off Spencer Asuchak’s initial chance. For Tkatch it was his second goal in two nights in his home province.

Jake Trask rounded out the scoring for Saskatoon who finished the game two-for-four on the man advantage while Prince George went zero-for-three.

The Cougars did outshoot Saskatoon 27-24 in a losing cause.

With the loss, the Cougars fall to 2-2-0-1 on the season, and Wednesday’s loss marks the first one suffered on the road this season for Dean Clark’s team. The Cougars are back in action Friday night in Brandon, MB.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cougars - Blades Preview.

The Prince George Cougars continue their seven-game road swing tonight in Saskatoon against Lorne Molleken’s Saskatoon Blades.

Who’s Up Front:

Gone are the likes of Brayden Schenn and Curtis Hamilton, but make no mistake the Blades are still highly potent up front. Leading the Blades so far is 20-year-old forward Jesse Paradis. The former Kelowna Rocket and Moose Jaw Warrior has tallied five points in his first four games. Fellow forward Jake Trask has also recorded five points.

Who’s On D:

Defensively the Blades are solid. Leading the way offensively is 18-year-old Darren Dietz. Dietz has tallied four points so far this season and is a +4. Another d-man to watch will be 2011 first-rounder Duncan Siemens. The Colorado Avalanche prospect will likely get a ton of ice-time tonight and is as tough a defender as they come in the Western Hockey League.

Who’s in Goal:

So far through two games, the Blades have split the goaltending duties between Adam Morrison and Andrey Makarov, but yesterday the Blades dealt Morrison to the Vancouver Giants, which suggests that Makarov will go tonight for Saskatoon. So far the 18-year-old has posted a 2-0 record with a save percentage of .928.


19-year-old forward Josh Nicholls is coming off an 86 point season last year with the Blades and so far has averaged a point-per-game so far this season. Nicholls is a dynamic winger with a great shot, and the Cats will need to be weary of Nicholls presence on the ice tonight.

Who’s Up Front:

16-year-old forward Alex Forsberg continues to impress in the early stages of his WHL career. Forsberg tallied once and added an assist for Prince George en route to the 6-3 victory in Prince Albert. Forsberg leads all Cougars forwards with five points in four games.

Who’s on D:

The duo of Daniel Gibb and Cody Carlson have been outstanding so far for the Prince George Cougars. Carlson has been impressive with five assists through four games. He’s also logged key minutes against the opposing team’s top lines. Dan Gibb’s offense hasn’t been as flashy, but he has been the epitome of dependable early on this season. Carlson and Gibb were able to keep Mark McNeil and Brandon Herrod in check last night, and they’ll likely be billed with the task of keeping Nicholls, Trask, Paradis and Stransky off the score-sheet tonight as well.

Who’s in Goal:

A great bounce-back effort from Drew Owsley last night in Prince Albert. Owsley stopped 33 of 36 shots faced, and made tough saves look easy. No word yet on whether Drew Owsley will be getting the call again tonight. If not, we may see Devon Fordyce get his first start.


Discipline. The Cougars owe a ton of their success last night to their disciplined game. They only took two penalties against the Raiders, and right now their PK sits 4th overall in the WHL. If they can stay out of the box, and do their best to draw penalties, they’ll have a great shot at grabbing their second straight victory on this seven-game road trip.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cougars 6 - Raiders 3

The Prince George Cougars got their seven-game road-trip off to a good start with a 6-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. Alex Forsberg, Jordan Tkatch, Martin Marincin and Cody Carlson all had multi-point nights, and Drew Owsley made 33 saves for his second win off the season.

The Cats led 2-1 after one period. Nick Buonassisi opened the scoring with a short-handed marker which stemmed from some nice patience from Cody Carlson. Carlson faked a slap-shot, caught Cole Holowenko cheating, and slid a pass to Buonassisi who made no mistake. Spencer Asuchak made it 2-0 when he redirected home a Martin Marincin point-shot for his first of the 2011-2012 campaign.

The Raiders would get one back when Mike Winther tallied short-handed with 59 seconds remaining in the first period. Both teams recorded 15 shots in the first period.

Another first period highlight was when Wilson Dumais (playing in his first game of 2011-2012) received a penalty shot. Dumais made a great forehand move, but was denied by the right pad of Cole Holowenko.

Early in the second, the Prince George Cougars increased their lead to 3-1. Cody Carlson chipped a neat pass up to Jordan Tkatch, who raced down the right side and roofed one over the shoulder of Holowenko.

Justin Maylan’s fourth of the season put Prince Albert back within one, but the Cats quickly countered with Taylor Thompson’s deflection-goal on the power play and they skated into the locker room with a 4-2 lead.

Justin Maylan’s second of the night got Prince Albert back within one early in the third, but Alex Forsberg increased the lead back to two with a gorgeous wrap-around effort. Caleb Belter added the empty-netter to seal the deal.

The Cougars received a strong bounce-back game from goaltender Drew Owsley. Owsley stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced, and controlled his rebounds very well throughout the contest.

The Cats finished one-for-four on the man-advantage while Prince Albert went 0-2. As impressive as their six-goal out0ut was, their defensive play was also strong. Together the tandem of Dan Gibb and Cody Carlson was able to keep Mark McNeil and Brandon Herrod off the score sheet.

The victory improves the Cougars record to 2-1-0-1. They’ll look to continue their winning trend on the road tomorrow night in Saskatoon against the Blades.

Cougars - Raiders Preview.

The Prince George Cougars are off to the Art Hauser Center for their lone meeting of the season with the Prince Albert Raiders. Last season the Cats were victorious against Prince Albert, and are 3-1-1-0 against them over the past five seasons. Here’s the preview for the game.


Bruno Campese’s club is 1-3-0-1 to start the 2011-2012 season. They dropped four in a row before a dominant 7-2 victory over Red Deer on Saturday. Don’t let the slow start fool you, the Raiders have a ton of great talent, and will no doubt be ready to go on home ice tonight.

Who’s Up Front:

The Raiders are led by two formidable forwards with a ton of upside. Brandon Herrod has tallied eight points through five games, and 18-year-old forward Mark McNeil is not too far off with seven points so far. The Cats will need to stay disciplined and not allow these two forwards extra time and space. If they can keep these two players quiet, they’ll have a great chance at success.

Who’s on D:

20-year-old defenceman James Bettauer has contributed five points in the first five games of the season for the Raiders. He’s already tallied three goals and is a +2 on the season.

Who’s in Goal:

The Raiders have two 18-year-old goaltenders who are very capable of winning hockey games. Cole Holowenko was the victor in Saturday’s 7-2 triumph over Red Deer. His counterpart Eric Williams is off to a bit of a slow start with an 0-2-0-1 record, but Williams showed last year that he can be a truly dynamic puck-stopper. The Prince George Cougars will be in tough regardless of who they face.


20-year-old Justin Maylan is off to a solid start to the season with five points in five games. Maylan averaged over a point-per-game last season, and has proven that he can be a consistent point-producer in this league. The last thing the Cats want is to take a player like Maylan too lightly.


The Cats are coming off two consecutive weekend losses ot the Victoria Royals. They showed glimpses of promise in both games, but too many mistakes in the defensive-zone cost them in the standings. They are 1-0 on the road this season and would love to kick off this seven-game road trip with two valuable points.

Who’s Up Front:

One of the bright spots late in Saturday’s game was the fact that several forwards stepped up their play with the absense of Charles Inglis. Nick Buonassisi scored his first goal of the season, and a long with Greg Fraser recorded a two-point night. Fraser and Buonassisi will have to continue that type of production on this road swing, and there’s no doubt that both are equally capable of doing so.

Who’s on D:

The Prince George Cougars have received strong offensive contributions early from both Cody Carlson and Martin Marincin. Carlson has three points in three games while Marincin has three points in two. With the injury to Brock Hirsche and the uncertainty surrounding Charles Inglis, it will be up to the defense to chip in offensively while still playing responsibly in their own zone.

Who’s in Goal:

Devon Fordyce saw his first true test of Western Hockey League competition on Saturday when he relieved Drew Owsley 11 minutes into the first period. It’ll be a busy couple of weeks for the Cats, and my guess is that both goaltenders will see some work during the trip. No decision has been made public yet as to which goaltender will get the call in Prince Albert.


Another player coming off a multi-point night is 16-year-old Alex Forsberg. Forsberg had a three-point weekend, and showed some strong confidence and skill. Forsberg will likely be looking at an enhanced role offensively, and has made it no secret that he wants to be ‘counted on’ to produce.