Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Preview: PG at VIC

The Pregame show at 6:45 on The Zone
This evening, the Victoria Royals (16-30-2-3) look to avenge last night’s 4-2 loss to the Prince George Cougars (16-31-0-2) in their second meeting in two nights.

After Reid Jackson opened the scoring, the Royals replied with goals from Jamie Crooks (26th) in the first, and Brandon Magee (16th) in the second.  It was the only lead for Victoria as Prince George replied with 3 unanswered with Nanaimo's Greg Fraser and Dalton Siwak scoring in the second.  Swedish defenseman Ricard Blidstrand had his first as a Cougar, the lone tally in the third.  Troy Bourke, the Cougars leading scorer had 3 assists.

Drew Owsley made 30 saves for his 15th win, while Keith Hamilton suffered his 25th defeat, also with 30 stops. Both teams went 0 for 1 on the power play.

Marc Habscheid and the Royals during a Time Out vs PG.
Drew Owsley made 30 saves for his 15th win.
The Cougars notched their 500th win since relocating to Prince George after the 1993-94 season, snapping a 5 game losing streak.  It was a second consecutive home loss for the 8th place Royals, who are now only 3 points up on the Cougars, who have 2 games in hand.

Victoria leads the season series two games to one, and after tonight will meet four more times by February 25th.  Previously, Victoria won both games in Prince George, a 5-4 shoot out win September 30th, and 6-5 October 1st.

Prince George has won more games on the road (10), than at home (6).  Victoria is 3 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 15th.  Prince George’s penalty killing is 12th best, yet they’ve taken the 2nd most penalties on average per game.

INJURY BUG:  Prince George has been hit with a rash of injuries, with 6 players out, plus 1 suspended.  Since the report F Greg Fraser, 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 30 points.

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).

Leading Scorers:
Prince George:
Bourke (9-27-36)
Carlson (7-23-30)
Forsberg (11-18-29)
Asuchak (13-13-26)
Fraser (13-9-22)

Crooks (26-27-53)
Nelson (20-28-48)
Soudek (21-22-43)
Magee (16-19-35)
Rintoul (12-23-35)

Victoria:  Home Games (12), Away (9)
Opposition: Prince George x 5, 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 (9)
Opposition: Victoria x 5, 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


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

For PG:
#2, Dan Gibb, 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
Suspensions: #26, Campbell Elynuik, one game remaining