BY FRASER RODGERS
Prince George Cougars
The Prince George Cougars are finally in the win column. The Cougars picked up their first win of the season Saturday in their 4-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets at the CN Centre.
The Cougars (1-4-0-1) got a pair of power-play goals in the first 40-minutes and then added a pair of empty-net goals to split the weekend doubleheader against the Rockets (4-2-1-0). It was a special night for a few young Cougars too.
16-year-old Tyler Brennan won in his first career WHL start, as the Winnipeg product kicked-out 26 of 27 shots he faced. He stopped 21 of 22 shots through 40-minutes, before turning aside the five in the final frame. If you include his relief appearance earlier this season, Brennan has stopped 38 of 40 shots he’s faced this season.
“He didn’t look like a 16-year-old, he looked like he was 20,” quipped General Manager & Head Coach Mark Lamb. “He (Brennan) was really composed all night long and didn’t look nervous one bit. He was terrific.”
Defenceman Ethan Samson and forward Filip Koffer each scored their first WHL goals Saturday. Samson scored what turned out to be the game-winner in the second period. With the Cougars on the power-play, the 16-year-old snuck down from the blue-line and tapped in Koffer’s clever backdoor pass to make it 2-0. Koffer and Josh Maser scored empty-net goals 19-seconds apart in the third period to seal the win. Koffer’s first in the WHL on what was a three-point effort from the Czech.
Jack Sander opened the scoring in the first period, as he too scored on the power-play. Sander’s point-shot knuckled in off the post and goalie before squeaking across the goal line. Sander also assisted on Samson’s goal in the middle stanza.
Nolan Foote was the only Rocket to solve Brennan on Saturday, as he scored a power-play goal midway through the middle frame.
Rhett Rhinehart extended his assist streak to four games when he picked up a helper on Maser’s empty-net goal. Reid Perepeluk had a pair of assists in Saturday’s win.
The Cougars head out for a two-game swing to Eastern Washington over the Thanksgiving long weekend. Prince George faces the Spokane Chiefs Friday, October 11th and the Tri-City Americans Saturday, October 12th. Fans can listen to both games on 94.3 The GOAT, or they can watch on WHL Live PPV.
Cougars [1-0] Jack Sander (1) from Filip Koffer and Reid Perepeluk (power-play) 17:03
Cougars [2-0] Ethan Samson (1) from Filip Koffer and Jack Sander (power-play) 9:37
Rockets [2-1] Nolan Foote (2) from Pavel Novak and Kaeden Korczak (power-play) 12:36
Cougars [3-1] Josh Maser (2) from Reid Perepeluk and Rhett Rhinehart 19:00 (EN)
Cougars [4-1] Filip Koffer (1) unassisted 19:19 (EN)
Three Stars: 1) Tyler Brennan 2) Filip Koffer 3) Ethan Samson