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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants at Prince George Cougars (Game #61)

Rik Fedyck

Tonight in Prince George, the Vancouver Giants look to snap a modest two-game losing streak when they battle the Cougars for the seventh time this season. A victory tonight for Vancouver would push them two points ahead of Victoria in the B.C. Division standings. Three of the final eight games of the season for the Giants will come against Prince George.

 

PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Mark Lamb

Record: 18-34-4-4

Home Record: 11-17-2-2

Last Game: A 2-0 victory Wednesday at home against Lethbridge.

Last 10: 2-7-1-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 135 GF/198 GA (-63)

Record vs. VAN: 2-4-0-0

Power Play: 18.1% (17th)

Penalty Kill: 76.1% (19th)

Leading Scorers: Josh Maser (25-18-43), Cole Moberg (12-22-34), Ryan Schoettler (3-31-34)

WINNING WEDNESDAY:

Earlier this week the Prince George Cougars earned a 2-0 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. Mitchell Kohner opened the scoring for the Cougars early in the second period, and Vladislav Mikhalchuk sealed the victory with an empty-netter in the final minute. Goaltender Taylor Gauthier was named the game’s first star after he turned aside all 37 Lethbridge shots for his second shutout of the season. Gauthier improved his record to 14-26-3-4 with a 2.90 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

THE SEASON SERIES:

So far this season the Cougars are 2-4 against Vancouver. They are 0-2 against them at home, and are 2-2 against them at the LEC. Josh Maser (2G, 3A), Cole Moberg (1G, 4A) and Ryan Schoettler (1G, 4A) have all recorded five points against Vancouver so far this season. Josh Maser, Mitchell Kohner and Tyson Upper have each scored twice against Vancouver on the season. Between the pipes Taylor Gauthier is 1-3 against Vancouver with a 3.77 goals-against average and an .881 save percentage. His one victory against the Giants was a 32 save shutout back on December 17th.

PRINCE GEORGE NOTES:

  • Josh Maser has 12 points (4G, 8A) over the course of his past 10 games.
  • Vladislav Mikhalchuk is riding a four-game point streak.
  • Cole Moberg has registered five points (4G, 1A) in his past five games.
  • The Cougars are 6/35 on the power play this season against Vancouver.

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Record: 32-23-3-2

Road Record: 14-13-1-2

Last Game: A 4-2 loss Wednesday night in Kamloops.

Last 10: 7-3-0-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 182 GF/157 GA (+25)

Power Play: 21.3% (12th)

Penalty Kill: 80.7% (9th)

Leading Scorers: Tristen Nielsen (30-32-62), Eric Florchuk Florchuk (21-34-55), Justin Sourdif (25-28-53)

A SOLID DEBUT FOR SIM:

One of the major positive takeaways from Wednesday night was the performance of 2003-born goaltender Drew Sim. Sim came into the game early in the second period, and did his part to keep the Giants within striking distance. Sim faced 20 shots and stopped 19 of them. The Giants seemed to feed off Sim’s success, and were able to maneuver themselves back to within a goal of Kamloops. Sim has a bright future in the WHL, and his career got off to a wonderful start Wednesday.

THE SEASON SERIES:

The Vancouver Giants are 4-1-1-0 this season against Prince George and are 2-0 against them on the road. Seth Bafaro (3G, 5A) leads all Giants with eight points on the season against Prince George, while Jackson Shepard leads all Giants with four goals in the season series. Tristen Nielsen (3G, 3A), Justin Sourdif (3G, 4A) and Seth Bafaro are all clicking at a point-per-game or better against Prince George this season. The Giants haven’t played in Prince George since the opening weekend of the regular season back on September 20th and 21st.

VANCOUVER NOTES:

  • The Giants power play has gone 5/22 this season against Prince George.
  • 16 of Tristen Nielsen’s 30 goals this season have been scored on the road.
  • 11 of Justin Sourdif’s 25 goals have come in the second period of games.
  • Justin Sourdif’s next point will mark the 100th of his WHL career.
  • Bowen Byram is four points shy of 150 for his WHL career.
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