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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants at Prince George Cougars (Game #62)

Brett Cullen

Tonight up North, the Vancouver Giants wrap up a stretch of five straight games on the road when they clash with the Prince George Cougars at 7:00 PM. Last night the Giants fell 5-4 to the Cougars, and have now dropped three straight games for the first time since early January. A victory tonight though for the Giants would ensure that they remain in second place in the B.C. Division standings.

PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Mark Lamb

Record: 19-34-4-4

Home Record: 12-17-2-2

Last 10: 3-6-1-0

Record vs. VAN: 3-4

Goals For/Goals Against: 140 GF/202 GA (-62)

Power Play: 18.7% (16th)

Penalty Kill: 75.6% (20th)

Leading Scorers: Josh Maser (28-18-46), Cole Moberg (12-24-36), Ryan Schoettler (3-31-34)

A ‘MAS’ ING:

1999-born forward Josh Maser led the way for Prince George last night with three goals. The Cougar captain now has 28 goals on the season along with 18 assists for 46 points. Maser leads all Cougars with eight points in seven games against Vancouver this season. Friday’s three-goal effort marked the third career hat-trick for Maser – Two of which have come against Vancouver. In 26 career games against the Giants, Maser has 12 goals and six assists for 18 points.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT:

Some key notes regarding last night’s victory for Prince George against Vancouver:

  • Cole Moberg had two assists for Prince George, both of which came on the power play.
  • Taylor Gauthier had 38 saves in the Cougar net. His best work came late in the third when his team was protecting a 5-4 lead.
  • The Cougar power play finished 2/3 against Vancouver. It marked the first time in a span of 15 games that the Giants had surrendered more than one power-play goal against in a game.

PRINCE GEORGE NOTES:

  • With 2808 minutes played, Cougars netminder Taylor Gauthier leads all WHL goaltenders in that statistic.
  • 14 of Josh Maser’s 28 goals this season have come via the power play.
  • Ryan Schoettler leads the Prince George Cougars with 31 assists.
  • Cole Moberg has recorded seven points (1G, 6A) in seven games this season against Vancouver.

 

VANCOUVER GIANTS

OVERVIEW:

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Record: 32-24-3-2

Road Record: 14-14-1-2

Last 10: 6-4-0-0

Record vs. PG: 4-2-1-0

Goals For/Goals Against: 186 GF/162 GA (+24)

Power Play: 21.8% (10th)

Penalty Kill: 80.1% (9th)

Leading Scorers: Tristen Nielsen (30-33-63), Eric Florchuk (21-35-56), Justin Sourdif (25-28-53)

THE STANDINGS SITUATION:

Coming into action tonight, the Vancouver Giants and Victoria Royals are tied for second in the B.C. Division standings with 69 points each. If the playoffs were to start today the Giants would face the Royals and would have home-ice advantage due to the fact that they have one more victory than the Royals do. Both teams trail Kamloops by 13 points for the B.C. Division lead, and both teans hold a seven-point lead on the (suddenly surging) Kelowna Rockets for a top-three spot in the division.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT:

Some key notes regarding last night’s outing for Vancouver:

  • Tyler Preziuso scored twice, and set a new season-high for points in a season with 51.
  • Bowen Byram’s two-point effort now gives him 50 on the season. He’s tied for seventh in league scoring among defencemen.
  • Vancouver’s power play went 2/4 against Prince George.
  • Thanks to his first period goal, Michal Kvasnica matched his point total from last season (20 points).

VANCOUVER NOTES:

  • The Giants are 20-6-0-1 in games when they score first.
  • Seth Bafaro leads all Giants with three goals and five assists (eight points) against Prince George.
  • Last night’s game marked the first time all season that the Giants had scored four-or-more goals in a game and lost.
  • The Giants are 25-0 this season in games when the Giants surrender three goals against or less.
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