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Game Preview: Jan 19th vs. Victoria Royals

Photo: James Doyle

Tonight’s Game: Tonight, the Cougars (16-17-1-1) look to sweep the midweek doubleheader against the Victoria Royals (12-17-4-0). Prince George won the opener 5-3 last night at the CN Centre. Jonny Hooker and Koehn Ziemmer each scored twice, and Hudson Thornton also lit the lamp. Tyler Brennan stopped 29 shots for his eighth win. The Cougars scored three times on the power play in the victory. Prince George is six points clear of the Royals, as they sit third in the B.C. Division and sixth in the Western Conference.

Season Series: Tonight, is meeting number seven of 14 against the Royals. The Cougars have won the first six match ups, outscoring the Royals 25-8 in the season series. Earlier this month two games against the Royals were postponed due to WHL COVID-19 protocols. One more game in the season series still needs to be rescheduled. Koehn Ziemmer leads the Cougars win nine points (4g-5a) in six games against Victoria. Tyler Brennan has a 4-0-0-0 record, 1.50 goals-against average, and .948 save percentage against the Royals.

Goalie of the Week: Tyler Brennan was named the WHL Goaltender of the Week, for the Week ending January 16th. Brennan recorded a 2-0-0-0 record, 1.97 GAA, .947 SV% in two wins over Vancouver. This season he has a 7-11-0-1 record, 3.36 GAA, and .900 SV%. He also has two shutouts.

NHL Midterm Draft Rankings: Last week, 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. 53 WHL players were named to the Midterm Rankings.

Roster Construction: The Cougars roster sits at 22 players: two goaltenders, eight defencemen, and 12 forwards. They have three 20-year-olds, one 19-year-old, six 18-year-olds, eight 17-year-olds, and four 16-year-olds. Nine rookies dot the roster.

Stat Pack: The Cougars are 9-6-0-1 in the first of back-to-back games; they’re 6-10-0-0 in the second game. Prince George is 2-1-1-1 in their last five home games. Koehn Ziemmer has scored five goals in the last three games. Jonny Hooker has three goals in the last two. Riley Heidt has points in eight of his last 10 games; he has six assists in his last three games.

Season Series

Oct 16th vs. Victoria 3-1 W
Oct 17th vs. Victoria 4-2 W
Oct 22nd at Victoria 5-1 W
Oct 23rd at Victoria 4-1 W
Oct 26th vs. Victoria 4-0 W
Jan 18th vs. Victoria 5-3 W

Prince George Cougars

General Manager & Head Coach: Mark Lamb

2021-22 Record: GP 35  16-17-1-1 (3rd B.C. Division)

Home: 9-7-1-1

Streak: 3-0-0-0

Last 10: 5-3-1-1

Last Game: 5-3 win vs. Victoria Royals (Jan 18th)

Next Game: Jan 21st vs. Kamloops Blazers

Scoring Leaders

Koehn Ziemmer (15-15-30)
Riley Heidt (9-19-28)
Craig Armstrong (10-15-25)
Ethan Samson (9-16-25)
Hudson Thornton (8-14-22)

Players to Watch

  • Riley Heidt is on quite the tear. The 16-year-old has six assists in his last three games and has seven points (1g-6a) in his last five games. Heidt has points in eight of his last 10 games. Over that stretch he has 14 points (4g-10a). The Saskatoon, SK product is the fourth-highest scoring 16-year-old in the WHL. He also has six points (1g-5a) in six games against the Royals.
  • Ty Young makes his fourth start this season. The 17-year-old has appeared in five games this season and has a 1-1-1-0 record, 4.06 goals-against average (GAA), and .868 save percentage (SV%). Tyler Brennan has started the last six games and with a home-and-home this weekend against Kamloops, tonight is good night for a breather. Young’s last start was December 28th, a 6-5 overtime loss to Everett. Young has loads of potential and will be motivated to keep the win streak going tonight.

 

Victoria Royals

General Manager & Head Coach: Dan Price

2021-22 Record: GP 33 12-17-4-0 (5th B.C. Division)

Away: 6-9-3-0

Streak: 0-4-0-0

Last 10: 4-6-0-0

Last Game: 5-3 loss at Prince George Cougars

Next Game: Jan 21st vs. Vancouver Giants

Scoring Leaders

Bailey Peach (21-26-47)
Brayden Schuurman (20-11-31)
Gannon Laroque (5-26-31)
Riley Gannon (10-6-16)
Keanu Derungs (8-7-15)

Players to Watch

  • Gannon Laroque has been a key piece for the Royals’ blue line. The 18-year-old has 13 points (1g-12a) over his last nine games and scored nice power play goal last night. The San Jose Sharks’ draft pick 31 points (5g-26a) through 33 games and sits third in team scoring. He has two points (1g-1a) in six games against Prince George.
  • Tyler Palmer may get the start tonight for the Royals and has had an impressive rookie season. The 18-year-old goaltender has a 7-10-2-0 record, 3.50 GAA, and .909 SV%. He also has one shutout. He has solid numbers against the Cougars too, putting together a 3.46 GAA and .910 SV% in three starts. Palmer had a 50-save shutout back on December 29th against the Giants. He is winless in his last three games but looking to rebound tonight.

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