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GAME PREVIEW: GM #40 Cougars (10-22-3-4) at Saskatoon Blades (20-17-1-2)

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LAST GAME: The Prince George Cougars dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Prince Albert Raiders Friday. Newcomer Jonny Hooker scored the only Cougars’ goal in the third period. Taylor Gauthier was superb in net, stopping 38 of 40 shots and was named the game’s second star. The power-play went 1-1 and the penalty-kill was 4-4. The Cougars road record dropped to 4-11-2-2. They’re 0-0-1-1 against the East Division. Prince George is 2-2-0-1 in their last five trips to Saskatoon, dating back to the 2009-2010 regular season.

PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS (10-22-3-4 27 PTS) SASKATOON BLADES (20-17-1-2 43 PTS)
5th B.C. DIVISION | 10th WESTERN CONFERENCE 4th EAST DIVISION | 8th EASTERN CONFERENCE
HOME: 6-11-1-2 | AWAY: 4-11-2-2 HOME: 10-6-1-2 | AWAY: 10-11-0-0
POWER-PLAY 25/149 16.8% 18th POWER-PLAY 33/164 20.1% 11th
PENALTY-KILL 33/138 76.1% 18th PENALTY-KILL 33/154 78.6% 13th
LAST 10 4-2-2-2 STREAK 0-1-1-1 LAST 10 6-4-0-0 STREAK 2-0-0-0

TONIGHT: Tonight, is the Cougars 40th game of the season and their record is 10-22-3-4, sitting fifth in the B.C. Division. The Cougars are eight points out of a wildcard playoff spot in the Western Conference. This is their first and only game against the Saskatoon Blades in the regular season. The Cougars have lost their last four on the road (0-1-2-1). Prince George is winless in their last three games (0-1-1-1) overall.

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. In their last match up with the Blades, the Cougars lost 4-1 on November 24th, 2018 at the CN Centre. On their last East Division road trip during the 2017-2018 season, Prince George went 1-4-0-1 in the six games. The Cougars have won two of their last three games in Saskatoon dating back to the 2013-2014 season. Their last win in Saskatoon was on February 2nd, 2016 (7-0).

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 with the Wheat Kings. Both Hooker and Kaddoura made their Cougars debut on Friday in Prince Albert.

CALLED UP: Saturday, the Cougars announced 17-year-old defenceman Aiden Reeves has joined the team for the remainder of the season. Reeves was playing for the Cariboo Cougars in the BC Major Midget League. In 20 games the Prince George product had 15 points (3-12-15) and 38 penalty-minutes. Reeves is joining the team in Saskatoon this weekend. He will wear number five.

STREAKS: Jack Sander is riding a five-game point streak entering tonight’s game. Sander has six points (1-5-6) over those five games. Filip Koffer has three points (2-1-3) in his last two games. Taylor Gauthier has faced 40 plus shots in each of his last three starts. He has a .929 save percentage over those three games. The Cougars have scored a power-play goal in each of their last five games (5-17).

MILESTONES: Brendan Boyle played in his 100th career regular season game on January 10th. Josh Maser is five games away from playing in his 200th career regular season game.

LINE UP: Taylor Gauthier will make his third consecutive start. He has a .929 save percentage over the last three games. Aiden Reeves is flying from B.C. today and won’t play tonight. Ilijah Colina, who missed last night’s game with an illness, is a game time decision.

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