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GAME PREVIEW: GM 16 Cougars at Spokane Chiefs

Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena | 7:05 pm

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LAST GAME: The Prince George Cougars lost their second consecutive game to the Kelowna Rockets on Friday, losing 6-2 at Prospera Place. Two weeks prior they lost 4-2 to Kelowna in Prince George. Last night, special teams dominated for the Rockets, as they were 3-4 on the power-play and went 5-5 on the penalty-kill. Matéj Toman and Reid Perepeluk scored in the loss. 17-year-old Jacob Herman made his WHL debut in goal, stopping 27 of 33 shots. The Cougars dropped to 1-3-0-0 against the Rockets and 2-6-0-1 against the B.C. Division.

TONIGHT: Tonight, is the fourth and final meeting in the season series. So far, the Cougars have won two of the first three match ups. Prince George was victorious in Spokane on October 11th, their first win at Spokane Arena since March 2017. The Cougars also won 2-1 at home against the Chiefs on October 18th. The Chiefs won the last encounter on Oct 19th by a 5-2 margin. Connor Bowie and Matéj Toman each have three points against Spokane. In two starts, Taylor Gauthier is 2-0 with an outstanding .942 save percentage. The Cougars are 2-3-0-0 against the U.S. Division this season.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Prince George Cougars (4-10-0-1 9 PTS) Spokane Chiefs (6-6-1-0 13 PTS)
5th B.C. Division | 10th Western Conference 4th U.S. Division | 7th Western Conference
Power-Play 9/65 13.8% (21st) Power-Play 11/52 21.2% (11th)
Penalty-Kill 14/57 75.4% (20th) Penalty-Kill 7/42 83.3% (6th)
Last 10 4-6-0-0 Streak 0-1-0-0 Last 10 5-5-0-0 Streak 0-2-0-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR: Josh Maser has five points (1-4-5) in his last five games. He leads the team in scoring with 11 points (6-5-11) in 15 games. Known more as a finisher, Maser has been a the playmaker of late, as he has four assists in his last three games. He hasn’t scored in his last three but he’s managed to be productive and generate offence for his team in another fashion. Maser scored in the Cougars’ first trip to Spokane on October 11th.

Outside of Ty Smith, Adam Beckman may be the most valuable player for the Chiefs. The second-year forward leads the team with 20 points and sits seventh overall in the WHL scoring race. His 15 assists are third-most in the WHL. Beckman was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the third-round, 75th overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft. Beckman may feel added offensive responsibility with Jake McGrew sidelined with  long-term upper and lower-body injuries.

COUGARS FOCUS: In one two words, special teams. The penalty-kill wasn’t good enough last night and the coaching staff will want a more determined effort. Don’t let the numbers fool you, Spokane has a dynamic power-play with an arsenal of weapons. The Cougars’ coaches will be preaching discipline. The power-play? Needs to manufacture a goal at a key time. Last night, the Cougars has four-straight power-plays to start the game, including two in the first five-minutes. An opportunity missed. Win the special teams battle against Spokane and they should be in good shape.

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