Hockey Gives Blood Preview: Cougars at Vancouver Giants (GM #17)

Allen Douglas


Last Game: The Cougars had their two-game win streak end on Friday in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Victoria Royals (2-14-1-0). Tyson Upper scored the Cougars’ only goal, eight-minutes into the third period to force the extra frame. Rookie goaltender Ty Young stopped 21 of 23 shots in the crease. The power-play went 0-2 and the penalty-kill was 4-5. The Royals led 1-0 through the first 40-minutes before the Cougars tied the game in the third period. Both of the Cougars’ overtime losses have come to the Royals. Prince George is 3-0-2-0 against Victoria. The two teams wrap up their season series May 8th.

Tonight’s Game: Tonight, is the fifth of six meetings between the two teams. They’ve split the first four games, as the Cougars won 6-3 on April 10th and 4-1 on April 12th. In their last encounter, it was the Giants edging the Cougars 2-1 on April 19th. Adam Hall scored the game-winning goal for Vancouver. Riley Heidt scored the Cougars’ only goal. The Cougars have points in three-straight games (2-0-1-0). The Giants snapped a four-game losing streak on Saturday with a 5-4 shootout win in Kelowna against the Victoria Royals.

Season Series: Craig Armstrong has five goals in four games against the Giants. Jonny Hooker has four points (1-3-4). Riley Heidt (1-2-3) and Hudson Thornton (1-2-3) each have three points. Taylor Gauthier is 1-1, with a 1.51 goals-against average (GAA) and a .955 save percentage (SV%) in two games against the Giants. Eric Florchuk has four points (1-3-4) against Prince George. Justin Sourdif (0-3-3) has three points. Against the Cougars, Trent Miner is 2-2, with a 2.22 GAA and a .912 SV%. He also has one shutout.

Prince George Cougars

General Manager & Head Coach: Mark Lamb

2020-21 Record: GP 16 6-7-2-1 (4th B.C. Division)

2020-21 Record vs. Vancouver: 2-1-1-0

2020-19 Record vs. Vancouver: 4-4-0-0

Last Game: 2-1 overtime loss vs. Victoria Royals (April 30th)

Next Game: May 4th at Kelowna Rockets

Leading Scorers: Craig Armstrong (6-6-12), Jonny Hooker (6-4-10), Kyren Gronick (5-5-10), Ethan Browne (4-5-9), Ethan Samson (1-8-9)

Game Notes

  • Taylor Gauthier starts tonight against the Giants. The 19-year-old has a 4-6-0-0 record, 3.21 goals against-average (GAA), and a .904 save percentage (SV%). The Calgary, AB against Vancouver is 1-1, with a 1.51 GAA, and a .955 save percentage.
  • Prince George will once again be playing one short with 17 skaters. The Cougars will have 11 forwards and six defencemen in the line up. Brendan Boyle (upper-body) is week-to-week and Kyren Gronick (upper-body) is getting closer to a return but is listed as day-to-day.  Jonny Hooker remains suspended and the length of the suspension is listed as “To Be Determined” by the WHL,
  • The start will be a big focus this evening. The Cougars have surrendered the game’s first goal in 12 of 16 games. The first period against Victoria wasn’t their best and they know a 60-minute effort is required to beat a heavy Giants team. When the Cougars score first they’re 3-1-0-0.
  • The Cougars have outscored the Giants 11-7 in the season series. Craig Armstrong has accounted for five of those 11 goals; four in one game (April 12th).
  • In their six wins this season, the Cougars have outscored their opponents 29-11. That’s an average of 4.8 goals per game in those six games. In their 10 losses they have scored just 16 goals. An average of just 1.6 goals per-game.
  • The Cougars are 6-2 when scoring three or more goals in a game. They’re 0-8 when held to two or less goals in a game.
  • Connor Bowie played his 150th game in the WHL on Monday. Jack Sander is three games away from 200. GM & Head Coach Mark Lamb earned his 250th career win as a Head Coach on Monday.


Vancouver Giants

General Manager: Barclay Parneta

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

2020-21 Record: GP 17 10-7-0-0 (2nd B.C. Division)

2020-21 Record vs. Prince George: 2-2-0-0

2020-19 Record vs. Prince George: 4-2-2-0

Last Game: 5-4 shootout win at Victoria Royals (May 1st)

Next Game: May 5th at Prince George

Leading Scorers: Justin Sourdif (7-19-26), Tristen Nielsen (11-11-22), Alex Kannok Leipert (6-10-16), Eric Florchuk (4-12-16), Zach Ostapchuk (6-6-12).

Game Notes

  • Trent Miner is the projected starter for the Vancouver Giants. Miner is 6-6-0-0, with a 1.82 GAA, and a .927 SV%. He has four shutouts. Against Prince George, he’s 2-2 with a 2.22 GAA and a .912 SV%A
  • Justin Sourdif has eight multi-point games so far this season for Vancouver.
  • The Vancouver Giants are the lone team in the WHL to have two different goalies earn a shutout victory this season.
  • Mazden Leslie is tied for the B.C. Division lead in rookie goal scoring with five.
  • Alex Kannok Leipert’s six goals rank first among B.C. Division blue-liners, and fourth in the entire WHL among defencemen.


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