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GAME PREVIEW: GM 12 Cougars versus Kelowna Rockets

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The Prince George Cougars suffered their worst loss of the season Tuesday, dropping a 7-2 decision to the visiting Swift Current Broncos. The seven goals were a season high against and was the first time the Cougars have surrendered seven goals since February 27th of last season (7-1 loss versus Spokane). The Broncos blew the game wide open in the second, scoring four goals in a five-minute stretch. Reid Perepeluk and Filip Koffer scored in the loss. Taylor Gauthier started in goal but was replaced by Tyler Brennan in the second period. Tuesday’s win was the Broncos first in Prince George since October 18th, 2016.

Tonight, is the third of nine meetings against the Kelowna Rockets this season, and the third-straight in Prince George. Three weeks ago, the two teams split a weekend doubleheader at the CN Centre. The Rockets won 2-1 on October 4th but the Cougars rebounded to win 4-1 a night later. the Cougars were 6-2-1-0 in nine meetings against the Rockets last season. The Cougars have won nine of their last 15 home games against the Rockets (9-4-2-0).

Tale of the Tape

Prince George Cougars (3-7-0-1 7 PTS)

Kelowna Rockets (6-4-1-0 13 PTS)
5th B.C. Division | 10th Western Conference 3rd B.C. Division | 5th Western Conference
Power-Play 6/42 14.3% (21st) Power-Play 13/54 24.1% (3rd)
Penalty-Kill 27/36 75% (19th) Penalty-Kill 38/48 79.2% (14th)
Last 10 3-6-0-1 Streak 0-2-0-0

Last 10 5-4-1-0 Streak 0-1-0-0


 The two newest Cougars could make their debuts tonight. Defenceman Marco Creta and forward Holden Kodak, acquired from the Winnipeg ICE over the weekend, should be in the line up against the Rockets. Creta and Kodak, along with two third-round picks and a conditional fifth-round pick, were acquired from the ICE in exchange for forward Jackson Leppard. Creta will wear number three and Kodak 18.

The Cougars actually had a good start last night, as they outshot the Broncos 8-0 in the first seven and a half minutes and had a couple of power-plays but could not convert. Lost in the lopsided win was Broncos’ goaltender Isaac Poulter’s stellar play in the first period. If it wasn’t for a few of his timely saves, it may have been the Cougars running away with yesterday’s game. Where the game started to turn was after the Cougars were dinged with a bench minor for too many men. Though the did not score on the man-advantage, that power-play gave the Broncos life and they eventually scored the go-ahead goal late in the first period. That carried into the second period, where the Broncos exploded for four goals in a five-minute stretch. It’s not the start that will be important but rather keeping the foot down on the gas pedal.

The Rockets haven’t played since Saturday’s 2-1 loss in Kamloops and are in the midst of a four-game road trip. After tonight, they travel to Vancouver Island to play a doubleheader against the Victoria Royals next Tuesday and Wednesday. Both the Rockets and the Cougars have struggled within the B.C. Division. the Cougars sport a 1-4-0-1 record against B.C. Division teams and the Rockets own a nearly identical mark of 1-4-1-0.

Kelowna is led by newly minted captain Nolan Foote. The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect was named the team’s 25th captain in franchise history last week. Foote (6-7-13) is tied with Czech import forward Pavel Novak (5-8-13) for the team scoring lead with 13 points.

The Cougars hit the road for two games against the Tri-City Americans (6-5-0-0) and the Vancouver Giants (7-7-0-0) on Saturday and Sunday. The Cougars are in Kennewick, WA Saturday then they make the quick trip up to Langley, BC to face the Giants on Sunday afternoon.

Team Leaders

COUGARS ROCKETS
GOALS (5) Josh Maser GOALS (6) Nolan Foote
ASSISTS (5) Ryan Schoettler ASSISTS (10) Leif Mattson
POINTS (7) Filip Koffer POINTS (13) Nolan Foote
PPG (1) Multiple Tied PPG (3) Pavel Novak
GWG (1) Multiple Tied GWG (2) Pavel Novak
SHG (0) SHG (0)
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