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PREVIEW: Vancouver Giants vs. Prince George Cougars (Game #18)

Allen Douglas

Tonight in Kamloops, the Vancouver Giants return to action in search of their 11th victory of the seaosn. Tonight, for the first time since April 19th, the G-Men will clash with the Prince George Cougars. The Giants are coming off a spirited 5-4 shootout victory last night against Victoria, while the Cougars are looking to avenge a 2-1 overtime loss at the hands of Victoria suffered on Friday night.

WEBCASTRADIOGAME NOTES

PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS

OVERVIEW

Head Coach: Mark Lamb

Record: 6-7-2-1

Last Game: A 2-1 OT loss suffered Friday night against Victoria.

Record vs. VAN: 2-1-0-1

Goals For/Goals Against: 45 GF/51 GA (-6)

Power Play: 17.5% (18th)

Penalty Kill: 79.3% (10th)

Leading Scorers: Craig Armstrong (15GP – 6G – 6A – 12PTS), Jonny Hooker (15GP – 6G – 4A – 10PTS), Kyren Gronick (15GP – 5G – 5A – 10PTS)

AN ARMY OF ONE

Heading into action tonight, Cougars forward Craig Armstrong leads the Cougars with 12 points (6G, 6A) through 15 games. Five of his six goals on the season have come against the Giants, and they came in a two-game span back on April 10th and 12th – Both of which were Cougar victories. Armstrong was the ninth overall pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, and is already four points clear of his previous totals which he set a season ago.

GAUTHIER TOUGH TO BEAT

2001-born goaltender Taylor Gauthier has put forth two strong outings against the Giants already this season. The Calgary, AB product is 1-1 against the Giants but has stopped 64 of the 67 shots he’s faced and has a 1.51 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage. For the season, Gauthier is 4-6 with a 3.21 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage. He’s three appearances away from 150 for his WHL career – All of which have come in a Cougar uniform. He was the first ever goaltender selected by the Cougars in Round 1 of the WHL Bantam Draft back in 2016.

COUGAR NOTES

  • The Cougars power play has gone 2/16 against Vancouver this season.
  • Rookie Kyren Gronick leads all B.C. Division rookies with 10 points. His five goals has him tied with Mazden Leslie, Connor Levis and Brayden Schuurman for the B.C. Division rookie goal scoring lead.
  • Delta B.C.’s Ethan Sampson has already surpassed his point totals from last season by two.
  • Sampson has compiled a goal and four assists for five points in his last six games.
  • On April 28th, defenceman Keaton Dowhaniuk notched a four-point game (1G, 3A) against the Kamloops Blazers.

VANCOUVER GIANTS

OVERVIEW

Head Coach: Michael Dyck

Record: 10-7

Last Game: A 5-4 shootout victory last night over the Victoria Royals

Record vs. PG: 2-2

Goals For/Goals Against: 56 GF/45 GA (+11)

Power Play: 19.7% (14th)

Penalty Kill: 82.9% (7th)

Leading Scorers: Justin Sourdif (17GP – 7G – 19A – 26PTS), Tristen Nielsen (17GP – 11G – 11A – 22PTS), Alex Kannok Leipert (17GP – 6G – 10A – 16PTS)

STREAK SNAPPED

Last night in Kelowna, the Vancouver Giants earned a 5-4 shootout victory over the Victoria Royals. Tristen Nielsen and Justin Sourdif both scored in the shootout for the Giants while Connor Horning, Adam Hall, Alex Kannok Leipert and Kaden Kohle supplied goals in regulation for the Giants. Alex Kannok Leipert’s two-point outing was tops among Giants. In goal Drew Sim earned his fourth victory by turning aside 15 of Victoria’s 19 shots through 65 minutes, plus an additional two attempts in the shootout.

YES HE ‘KAN’

With a goal in last night’s game, Giants captain Alex Kannok Leipert has now set a new season high for goals in a single season with six. His 16 points rank him at the very top of the  B.C. Division in scoring for defencemen, and only three other defencemen in the entire WHL have scored more goals than he has. Coming into action tonight, Kannok Leipert has three goals and six assists for nine points in his past six outings, and he’s managed to record at least one point in five of those six games. In four games against the Cougars, Kannok Leipert does have one goal.

GIANT NOTES

  • Justin Sourdif’s 26 points rank tops among all B.C. Division skaters.
  • Trent Miner is 2-2 this season against Prince George with a .912 save percentage and a 2.22 goals-against average.
  • The Giants are a perfect 5-0 this season in games when Adam Hall scores a goal.
  • The Giants are 5-0 in games when Connor Horning records at least one point.
  • Eric Florchuk leads all Giants with four points (1G, 3A) against Prince George.
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