Game Preview: Jan 14th Cougars at Vancouver Giants

Photo: Robert Jay

Tonight’s Game: The Cougars (13-17-1-1) return to action for the first time in 13 days, as they look to snap a five-game winless streak. Prince George hasn’t played in nearly two weeks after they had to pause team activities due to COVID-19 protocols. The Cougars have had four games postponed, as they last played on New Year’s Day, a 7-1 setback to the Kamloops Blazers. Prince George is 0-3-1-1 in their last five.

Season Series: Tonight, is meeting number eight of 12 with Vancouver. The Cougars are 3-4-0-0 in their previous seven meetings with the Giants. They last played Vancouver on December 18th, a 3-1 loss at the Langley Events Centre (LEC). Prince George has yet to win at the LEC, as they’re winless in their previous three visits. Craig Armstrong and Koehn Ziemmer each have eight points in seven games against the Giants. The two teams meet again tomorrow in the second game of the doubleheader.

Season Series

Oct 8th at Vancouver 6-4 L Dec 18th at Vancouver 3-1 L
Nov 5th at Vancouver 3-1 L Jan 14th at Vancouver 7:30 pm
Nov 9th at Prince George 1-0 W Jan 15th at Vancouver 7:00 pm
Nov 10th at Prince George 5-3 L Feb 11th at Prince George 7:00 pm
Dec 14th at Prince George 5-3 W Feb 12th at Prince George 7:00 pm
Dec 15th at Prince George 7-3 W Mar 27th at Vancouver 4:00 pm

NHL Midterm Draft Rankings: Wednesday, five Cougars were named to NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft. Tyler Brennan is the top-ranked North American (NA) Goaltender. Ty Young is ranked 21st among NA netminders. Viliam Kmec (92nd), Keaton Dowhaniuk (136th), and Hudson Thornton (211th) are ranked NA Skaters. In total, 53 WHL players were ranked. The 2022 NHL Draft is scheduled from July 7-8 in Montreal, Que. 

Roster Transactions: Tuesday, the Cougars reassigned defenceman Aidan Brook to the Dauphin Kings in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Brook dressed in 11 games for the Cougars this season.  Brook was originally acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers in November for a 6th-round pick in 2021. The Cougars roster now sits at 22 players.

Prince George Cougars

General Manager & Head Coach: Mark Lamb

2021-22 Record: GP 32  13-17-1-1 (4th B.C. Division)

Away: 5-10-0-0

Streak: 0-3-1-1

Last 10: 5-3-1-1

Last Game: 7-1 loss at Kamloops Blazers (Jan 1st)

Next Game: Jan 15th at Vancouver Giants

Scoring Leaders

Craig Armstrong (10-14-24)
Koehn Ziemmer (10-14-24)
Riley Heidt (9-13-22)
Ethan Samson (6-16-22)
Hudson Thornton (7-13-20)

Players to Watch

  • Koehn Ziemmer was the Cougars’ Player of the Month for December. The 17-year-old had 14 points, including six goals in 13 games last month. One of those games was his six-point effort against the Giants on December 15th. Ziemmer has five points (3g-2a) in his last five games too. The Mayerthorpe, Atla. product likes playing Vancouver, as he has eight points (3g-5a) in seven games. His line with Riley Heidt and Craig Armstrong will be counted on to lead the offence out of a two-week pause.
  • Tyler Brennan, fresh off being named the top-ranked North American Goaltender in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings, will look to rebound since his last start. Brennan surrendered five goals in Kamloops on January 1st before being relieved by Ty Young in the second period. Brennan has excellent numbers this season against the Giants, posting a 2.39 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. Over his career, he plays very well at the Langley Events Centre. Prince George will need him to be the team’s backbone tonight.


Vancouver Giants

General Manager: Barclay Parneta

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

2021-22 Record: GP 32 15-16-1-0 (3rd B.C. Division)

Home: 8-7-0-0

Streak: 1-0-0-0

Last 10: 2-8-0-0

Last Game: 4-3 win (OT) vs. Kelowna Rockets (Jan 2nd)

Next Game: Jan 15th vs. Prince George Cougars

Scoring Leaders

Justin Sourdif (8-23-31)
Ty Thorpe (10-20-30)
Fabian Lysell (11-17-28)
Alex Cotton (11-16-27)
Adam Hall (11-7-18)

Players to Watch

  • Justin Sourdif returned to the Giants line up on Jan 2nd and had a pair of assists in their 3-2 overtime win over Kelowna. That was Sourdif’s first game since returning from the World Junior Hockey Championship. Sourdif left the team on Dec 9th for Team Canada camp yet still leads the team in scoring, as he is an integral part of their success. Without him in the line up, Vancouver went 2-7-0-0. The Giants’ captain has been a key piece in the season series, as he has seven points (2g-5a) in just three games.
  • With key pieces out of the line up throughout December, Ty Thorpe was the Giants’ go-to forward. He missed the two games in Prince George on Dec 14th & 15th, but since has six points (2g-4a) in six games. The 19-year-old has been a great off-season pick up from the Brandon Wheat Kings, as he is second in team scoring with 30 points (10g-20a) in 28 games. Thorpe also has seven points (2g-5a) in five games against Prince George.

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