Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Five 'Must See' Games in 2012-2013.

The Prince George Cougars regular season begins on Saturday, September 22nd in Everett, WA. From there, the Cougars will play 36 games at home, and 36 games away from CN Centre. This time last season, I had just started my first day in the Prince George Cougars office, and felt completely overwhelmed when I thought of what lied ahead.

While I still feel slightly overwhelmed when I look at the upcoming season, I confess that there is some added comfort now that I have a full season under my belt. There are only three WHL cities that I have yet to visit: Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Kootenay, and the fact that I have seen every WHL team play the Prince George Cougars at least once makes it much easier to prepare for 72 radio broadcasts.

As each coach will tell you, one game is never more important than another in the grand scheme of things. That being said there are five home games that I think all fans need to take note of, because they promise to add a 'little something extra.'


Not only does this game mark the home opener for the Prince George Cougars, but it also provides an opportunity for newly acquired forward Colin Jacobs to face his former team for the first time. Dallas Thompson acquired Jacobs on August 3rd in a trade that sent Jesse Forsberg south to Seattle. Jacobs has a ton of offensive upside, and will no doubt want to strut his best stuff against his former squad. The only hinderance here might be if Jacobs is still attending Buffalo Sabres Training Camp. But with a possible NHL lockout looming, fans can look forward to an intense battle and a lively atmosphere. It's also worth noting that Colin Jacobs has 9 career points in just six career games played in Prince George. Here's hoping those trends can continue in 2012-2013.


Technically fans will get their first look at the Edmonton Oil Kings during the exhibition season on September 7th and 8th, but November 9th marks the first date when the defending WHL champs play at CN Centre. The Prince George Cougars were 1-2-0-0 against the Oil Kings last season, but their one victory may have been the most exciting home game of the 2011-2012 season. The Prince George Cougars won a 5-4 thriller in overtime and forward Daulton Siwak led the way with two goals and three points. November 9th will signify a true 'measuring stick' type of game for the Prince George Cougars.


This season the Prince George Cougars fans will get to see all six Eastern Conference teams including the 2013 Memorial Cup hosts, the Saskatoon Blades. The Blades are the only team in the entire CHL that receives an automatic bid to the Memorial Cup, and will no doubt feature a roster that will be a tough threat on most nights. Fans will only get the once chance to see Saskatoon face off against the Cougars during the regular season, and it takes place on November 16th.


This season, the Prince George Cougars Teddy Bear and Toque Toss game will once again feature their BC Division rivals from Vancouver. There is a slightly different wrinkle this time around given the fact that this game will take place on a Sunday afternoon, starting at 4:00. The Teddy Bear and Toque Toss night is always a fun night for fans who get a chance to support a great cause, and the Cougars will certainly be looking for a measure of revenge against Vancouver, who defeated the Cougars 4-1 during last season's Teddy Bear and Toque Toss.


Prince George Cougars fans will have to wait until late February for their chance to watch the Portland Winterhawks up close. The Winterhawks made it to Game Seven of the WHL Championship series before falling to the Edmonton Oil Kings, and are one of the pre season favorites in the Western Conference. Their lineup could once again feature the dangerous Ty Rattie, and fans will get a first-hand look at top prospect Seth Jones who will most likely be a Top-Five pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. The Cougars earned a 4-3 overtime victory against Portland back in December 2011 in a game that was easily one of my favorites in 2011-2012.

Is there a game that you are particularly excited about? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

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