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PREVIEW: GM 39 Cougars (10-22-2-4) vs. Prince Albert Raiders (21-14-5-1)

LAST GAME: The Prince George Cougars opened their East Division road trip with a 5-4 shootout loss to the Regina Pats at the Brandt Centre Wednesday. Filip Koffer scored twice in the loss and Brendan Boyle and Connor Bowie also scored in regulation. Taylor Gauthier stopped 41 of 45 shots in the Cougars’ crease. The power-play went 1-2 and the penalty-kill went 2-2. The Cougars road record dropped to 4-11-1-2. They’re 0-0-0-1 against the East Division. They’re winless in their last four games in Regina, dating back to January 24th, 2014.

TONIGHT: Tonight, is the Cougars 39th game of the season and their record is 10-22-2-4, sitting fifth in the B.C. Division. The Cougars are seven points out of a wildcard playoff spot in the Western Conference. This is their first and only game against the Prince Albert Raiders in the regular season. The Cougars have lost their last three on the road (0-1-1-1). Prince George is 1-2-1-1 in their last five games.

PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS (10-22-2-4 26 PTS) PRINCE ALBERT RAIDERS (21-14-5-1 48 PTS)
5th B.C. DIVISION | 10th WESTERN CONFERENCE 2nd EAST DIVISION | 5th EASTERN CONFERENCE
HOME: 6-11-1-2 | AWAY: 4-11-1-2 HOME: 10-6-3-0 | AWAY: 11-8-2-1
POWER-PLAY 24/148 16.2% POWER-PLAY 28/133 21.1%
PENALTY-KILL 33/134 75.4% PENALTY-KILL 28/148 81.1%
LAST 10 4-3-1-2 STREAK 0-1-0-1 LAST 10 1-7-2-0 STREAK 1-0-1-0

SEASON SERIES: Tonight, is the first and only meeting between these two teams in the WHL regular season. The Cougars went 2-3-1-0 against the East Division last season. They lost 6-2 to the Raiders on January 16th, 2019. On their last East Division road trip during the 2017-2018 season, Prince George went 1-4-0-1 in their six-game road swing. The Cougars have lost their last two games in Prince Albert dating back to the 2015-2016 season. Their last win in Prince Albert was on January 27th, 2014 6-5 in a shootout. The Cougars are 2-3-0-0 in their last five games in Prince Albert.

WHL TRADE DEADLINE: The Cougars made a pair of moves on the eve of the WHL Trade Deadline. The Cougars acquired defenceman Majid Kaddoura (01), prospect Jayden Watson (03), and a first-round WHL Bantam Draft selection in 2020 from the Saskatoon Blades, in exchange for defenceman Rhett Rhinehart (01) and a third-round WHL Bantam Draft selection in 2020. They also acquired forward Jonny Hooker (01) from the Brandon Wheat Kings in exchange for forward Reid Perepeluk (00). Kaddoura is in his second season in the WHL and played in 36 games with the Blades this season and had 10 points (2-8-10). Hooker is in his third season and has 13 points (8-5-13) in 38 games. Both Hooker and Kaddoura are expected to make their Cougar debuts tonight.

LINE UPS: The two newest Cougars, Majid Kaddoura and Jonny Hooker, are expected their make their debuts tonight. Kaddoura joined the team this morning and Hooker was flying into Saskatoon from Manitoba Friday morning as well. Taylor Gauthier is expected to make his second consecutive start in net. Ethan Browne rejoined the team this week and is expected to draw back into the line up tonight or tomorrow against Saskatoon.

STREAKS: Filip Koffer has three points (2-1-3) in his last two games. Jack Sander has three points (1-2-3) in his last two games. Connor Bowie has three points (2-1-3) in his last four games.

MILESTONES: Tonight, is Brendan Boyle’s 100th career regular season game. Josh Maser is six games away from hitting 200.

INJURY REPORT: None.

COUGARS’ FOCUS: Finish what they start. They got off to a terrific start against Regina, leading 3-1 after 40-minutes but bad habits crept back into their game over the final 45-minutes and it cost them a point. The stats don’t lie, when they play with the lead, they’re in great shape to pick up two points. Can they have a consistent effort, from start to finish tonight?

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