BY FRASER RODGERS
Prince George Cougars
Thursday morning the Prince George Cougars made changes behind the bench, as General Manager Mark Lamb has taken over as head coach on an interim basis.
Lamb replaces Richard Matvichuk, who had been the Cougars’ head coach since the start of the 2016-2017 season. In nearly three seasons at the helm, Matvichuk compiled an 85-89-12-10 record, and guided the franchise to their first B.C. Division title in 2016-17 that also seta new franchise mark in wins (45) that season.
“On behalf of the Cougars organization, we thank Richard for his dedication to the team over the past three seasons. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” said Lamb.
Lamb moves behind the bench with the Cougars sitting fifth in the B.C. Division, with a 16-30-4-2 record, nine points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. He says this group has more to give.
“We want our players to come to the rink with a great attitude and work ethic, dedicating themselves to developing a style of play that will give us the best chance at success moving forward.”
Director of Player Development Nick Drazenovic has been named an Assistant Coach for the remainder of the season and will be on the bench with Lamb and Associate Coach Steve O’Rourke.
Drazenovic played in281 career games in the Western Hockey League, all with the Cougars. During that span he recorded 77 goals and 137 assists for 214 points, which ranks him seventh all-time in franchise scoring. He was a sixth-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2005 and went on to play nine seasons and over 500 games in the American Hockey League. He also played 12 games in the NHL with the Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Cougars start a two-game weekend road trip in Kelowna tomorrow at 7:05 pm. Then it’s an afternoon contest against the Vancouver Giants on Sunday at 2:00 pm. Fans can listen to both games on 94.3 The GOAT, or they can watch online at whl.neulion.com