Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Preview: PG at VIC

The Prince George Cougars (15-31-0-2) franchise returns to the capital Wednesday night to face Victoria Royals (16-29-2-3) for the first time since relocating in 1994.

It’s just the third meeting of the season, with Victoria winning both games in Prince George, a 5-4 shoot out win September 30th, and 6-5 October 1st.  They’ll meet six times, within the next 26 days.

The Royals picked up a spit at home on the weekend against the Blazers, a 4-2 win on Friday followed by a 5-1 loss.  The Cougars have lost 5 in a row after dropping a pair at home to the Silvertips by scores of 4-3 and 5-2.

Everett leap frogs past Prince George for the 9th spot in the conference, leaving the Cougars 5 back of the Royals for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West.

Prince George has won more games on the road (9), than at home (6).  Victoria is 2 under .500 at home with 9 victories.  The Cougars have the fewest goals and shots for, in the league.  Their power play has the lowest efficiency percentage, while the Royals is ranked 14th.  Prince George’s penalty killing is 12th best, yet they’ve taken the 2nd most penalties on average per game.
G Drew Owsley

INJURY BUG:  Prince George has been hit with a rash of injuries, as the WHL weekly report lists 8 players, plus 1 suspended.  Since the report F Greg Fraser, F Alex Forsberg and D Reid Jackson have returned to the lineup.

ISLAND BOYS:  The Cougars boast two local players, F Greg Fraser from Nanaimo, and D Cody Carlson from Victoria who is second on the club in scoring with 20 points.

TWITTER STAT:  According to @WHLFacts on Twitter, heading into the weekend losses, netminder Drew Owsley was averaging 43 shots against for every 60 mins played in January, maintaining a .909 Save % for the month.

WIKI STAT:  The Cougars are the only team in Western Hockey League history to draft 2 brothers in the first round of the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. Jesse Forsberg, a defenceman, was drafted 11th overall by the Cougars in 2008, and his younger brother Alex, a centerman, was taken first overall in 2010.

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Prince George: D Ricard Blidstrand (7th PHI ’10).

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108).  For PG: Troy Bourke (107).

Victoria:  Home Games (13), Away (9)
Opposition: Prince George x 6, Everett x 4, Calgary x 1, Van x 3, Spok x 3, Kelowna x 1, Tri x 1, Portland x 2, Kamloops x 1

Prince George: Home (14) Away (10)
Opposition: Victoria x 6, Kelowna x 3, Seattle x 2, Red Deer x 1,
Edmonton x 2, Portland x 2, Medicine Hat x 2, Spokane x 2, Kam x 2, Tri x 2


Bourke (9-24-33)
Carlson (7-23-30)
Forsberg (11-18-29)
Asuchak (13-13-26)
Fraser (12-9-21)

Crooks (25-27-52)
Nelson (20-28-48)
Soudek (21-22-43)
Rintoul (12-23-35)
Magee (15-19-34)


For Victoria:
#7, Tyler Stahl, Upper body, indefinite.

For PG:
#2, Dan Gibb, Upper body, day to day
#9, Greg Fraser, Upper body, day to day
#10, Brock Hirsche, Upper body, season ending
#11, John Odgers, Upper body, 6-8 weeks
#17, Caleb Belter, Upper body, day to day
#21, Shane Pilling, Upper body, day to day
#27, Alex Forsberg, Lower body, day to day
#29, Reid Jackson, Upper body, week to week
Suspensions: #26, Campbell Elynuik, four games remaining