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Hockey Gives Blood preview: Cougars vs. Vancouver Giants (GM #19)

Allen Douglas

GAME DAY HUB

Last Game: The Cougars earned their second-straight win on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place. Koehn Ziemmer and Connor Bowie (short-handed) supplied the offence. Goaltender Taylor Gauthier stopped 29 of 30 shots for his sixth win. The power-play went 0-3 and the penalty-kill was 5-5, including Bowie scoring a short-handed goal. Prince George led 1-0 through 20-minutes on Ziemmer’s seventh goal of the season. Bowie doubled the Cougars’ lead five-minutes into the middle frame, as he scored his seventh short-handed. The Rockets spoiled Gauthier’s shutout bid with a goal with less than five-minutes left in regulation. Tuesday was the Cougars first win against the Rockets since October 5th, 2019 snapping an eight-game losing streak dating back to last season. Last night was also the Rockets first loss on home ice, as they had won their previous five home games. The two teams wrap up their four-game season series Sunday at the Sandman Centre.

Tonight’s Game: Tonight, is the sixth and final meeting in the RE/MAX Hub Centre between the two teams. Through five games the Cougars are 3-2-0-1 against the Giants. The Cougars are looking for their third-straight win as they have points in five-straight games (4-0-1-0). A win tonight would move the Cougars past the Giants and into second place in the B.C. Division. Prince George has yet to win three-in-a-row this season. The Cougars are coming off a 5-2 win over the Giants in their last meeting on May 2nd. Koehn Ziemmer scored twice in that win for the Cougars, and Craig Armstrong, Tyson Upper, and Blake Eastman also scored.

Head-to-Head: Six of Craig Armstrong’s seven goals have come against the Giants. Jonny Hooker (1-3-4) and Ethan Samson (0-4-4) each have four points against Vancouver. Koehn Ziemmer has three goals in five games against the Giants. Taylor Gauthier is 2-1-0-0, with a 1.67 goals-against average (GAA) and .949 save percentage (SV%) against Vancouver. Eric Florchuk has five points (1-4-5) in five games against the Cougars. Tristen Nielsen has three goals in five games and Justin Sourdif has four assists. Goaltender Trent Miner is 2-3-0-0 with a 2.96 GAA and .883 SV% against Prince George.

Prince George Cougars

General Manager & Head Coach: Mark Lamb

2020-21 Record: GP 18 8-7-2-1 (3rd B.C. Division)

2020-21 Record vs. Vancouver: 3-1-0-1

2020-19 Record vs. Vancouver: 4-4-0-0

Last Game: 2-1 win at Kelowna Rockets (May 4th)

Next Game: May 8th at Victoria Royals

Leading Scorers: Craig Armstrong  (7-6-13), Ethan Samson (1-10-11), Koehn Ziemmer (7-3-10), Jonny Hooker (6-4-10), Kyren Gronick (5-5-10)

Game Notes

  • Defenceman Jack Sander is playing in his 200th career regular season game tonight. The 20-year-old has eight points (1-7-8) in 18 games this season. The 200 game mark is quite the accomplishment for the Cougars’ captain, considering he was never drafted in the WHL Bantam Draft and signed with the Cougars in 2017. Congratulations, Jack.
  • Goaltender Taylor Gauthier is playing in his 150th career regular season game. Through 12 games this season he is 6-6-0-0, with a 2.93 goals-against average (GAA) and .911 save percentage (SV%). In three games against the Giants, he’s 2-1-0-0, with a 1.67 GAA, and .949 SV%.
  • Prince George dressing just 16 skaters due to a few injuries and one suspension. Injured and not playing are forwards Brendan Boyle, Ethan Browne, and Kyren Gronick. Jonny Hooker is serving the final game of his four-game suspension. So, that means the Cougars will have 10 forwards and six defencemen. Hudson Thornton will not play, as he only has one game left of the six that he can play as an Affiliated Player.
  • The Cougars have had good starts in their last two games and the catalyst has been Koehn Ziemmer. The 16-year-old has opened the scoring for the Cougars in back-to-back games. he has four goals in his last four games. The Cougars are an impressive 5-1-0-0 when scoring first.

Vancouver Giants

General Manager: Barclay Parneta

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

2020-21 Record: GP 18 10-8-0-0 (2nd B.C.)

2020-21 Record vs. Prince George: 2-3-0-0

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

Last Game: 5-2 L May 2nd vs. Prince George Cougars

Next Game: May 7th vs. Kelowna Rockets

Leading Scorers: Justin Sourdif (7-20-27), Tristen Nielsen (13-11-24), Eric Florchuk (4-13-17), Alex Kannok Leipert (6-1016), Zack Ostapchuk (6-6-12)

Game Notes

 

  • Rookie goaltender Drew Sim makes his first start against the Cougars. In seven games he’s 4-1-0-0, with a 3.74 GAA and .813 SV%. He made a relief appearance against the Cougars in the Giants 5-2 loss Sunday
  • Justin Sourdif and Tristen Nielsen both have 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.
  • Alex Kannok Leipert’s six goals rank first among B.C. Division blueliners, and fourth in the entire WHL among D-Men.
  • Alex Kannok Leipert’s 16 points are tops among all defensemen in the B.C. Division.

About Hockey Gives Blood

A single organ donor can save up to eight lives which is why Hockey Gives Blood player ambassador Taylor Gauthier registered his intent to become an organ donor.

It takes 2 minutes to register your decision to become an organ donor and it is crucial that you talk with your family and loved ones about your decision to become a registered organ donor. Learn more about organ donation at blood.ca/HGB.


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