Prince George Cougars at Vancouver Giants – Preview

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Dan Elliott

The Vancouver Giants wrap up the 2011 calendar year, Friday December 30 when they open up an eight game homestand vs. the Prince George Cougars. Puck drop is at 7:30 pm at the Pacific Coliseum. The Cougars (13-21-0-2) sit in 5th place in the BC division and in 9th position in the Western Conference, while the Giants (23-13-1-1) are 2nd in the BC division and 3rd in the Western Conference. Vancouver has 20 more points then Prince George.

Friday’s match up will mark the 7th of 8 meetings this year between the Giants and Cougars. Vancouver is 5-1-0-0 vs. Prince George, outscoring them 21-12. Over the last 5 seasons, the Giants are 15-2-0-1 vs. the Cougars at the Pacific Coliseum. The Giants are coming off a 3-1 loss in Kamloops Wednesday night, while the Cougars defeated Calgary 3-1 in their lone game following the Christmas break.

Nobody looks forward to playing the Cougars more then Cain Franson. This season he leads the Giants with 3 goals, 7 assists and 10 points in 6 games vs. Prince George. He is also a +8 in the 6 games. Adam Morrison is a perfect 5-0 with a goals against average of 1.97 and a save percentage of .916.

Both teams of course will be without prominent players due to international commitments. For the Giants Brendan Gallagher (Canada), Marek Tvrdon (Slovakia), and David Musil (Czech Republic) are at the World Juniors and Anthony Ast and Jackson Houck are in Windsor, Ontario for the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. The Cougars will be missing Martin Marincin (Slovkia) who is at the World Juniors and Alex Forsberg, Jarrett Fontaine, Jordan Tkatch, and Chase Witala are all playing at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. Forsberg, who is just 16 years of age and the former 1st overall pick in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft, leads the Cougars in scoring this year and has 4 goals, 3 assists, and 7 points vs. the Giants this season.

The Cougars could also have Daulton Siwak in their line up. The 18 year old forward was acquired from Red Deer, along with a 3rd round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, in exchange for centre Charles Inglis. Siwak, who has missed half the season with an upper body injury, has 5 goals, 2 assists, and 7 points in 18 games this season and is expected to join the Cougars in Vancouver; whether or not he will play remains to be seen. He hasn’t played since November 25.

A reminder to fans, the Boxing Day sale continues at the Vancouver Giants store at the Pacific Coliseum; everything is 25% off.

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