Peter Kosterman wouldn't mind padding his own point total this weekend at the expense of the Calgary Hitmen, but that's unlikely.
Still looking for his first point since joining the Prince George Cougars in an pre-season trade from the Hitmen, the 20-year-old Kosterman is just fine with his role as a defensive defenceman. The four-point weekend he has in mind shows up in the WHL standings. He knows it's going to take a total team effort to accomplish that with a two-game sweep of the Hitmen tonight and Saturday at CN Centre.
"I played most of my career there so there will be some extra excitement, I'm not going to lie, but at the same time it's another game and we have a lot of home games here coming up and it's up to us to get points," said Kosterman, traded Sept. 11 in exchange for the Cougars' fourth-round bantam pick in 2014 and a sixth-rounder in 2015.
"They're a good team but we are too, and and it's up to us to dictate the play [tonight]. If I can pitch in with a point or two that would be great, but I just want to put the team first and play my game and be solid defensively. We have lots of skill up front so I'll leave the scoring up to them."
Kosterman picked up five goals in four full seasons for the Hitmen, and had one goal in 17 playoff games last season as the Hitmen advanced to the Eastern Conference final. They've picked up where they left off and now lead the East with a 9-3-1-1 record. With 20 points in 14 games, Calgary is tied with Spokane atop the WHL.
The Hitmen have won four of their last five games. They started their trip Tuesday in Kelowna, doubling the Rockets 2-1, and lost 4-3 Wednesday in overtime to Vancouver.
"It's exciting to get these teams from the Eastern Conference -- we don't see them that often and it's good for the city to see that outside talent," said Kosterman. "It's a good organization. They've always been putting forward good teams and they seem to do that every year."
Greg Chase, an 18-year-old centre drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the seventh round in 2013, already has 10 goals and 19 points in 14 games to lead the Hitmen, while Jake Virtanen, a 17-year-old from Abbotsford, has eight goals and 12 points. Their defencemen are getting involved in the offence as well. Jaynen Rissling and Kenton Helgesen each have 11 points.
In goal, Chris Driedger and Mack Shields are allowing more than three goals per game and have save percentages below the .900 mark, yet both have winning records. Shields, an 18-year-old from Saskatoon is 5-0-0-0, while Driedger, a 19-year-old native of Winnipeg, is 4-3-1-1.
Expect to see 17-year-old rookie Ty Edmonds in the Cougars nets. He's been nothing short of sensational with a 2.21 goals-against average and .925 save percentage to go with a 6-3-0-1 record and two shutouts in 12 games.
Chase Witala leads the Cats in scoring with six goals and is tied in points with Troy Bourke for the team lead with 12. The other member of that line, Zach Pochiro, is right behind with 10 points, four of which are goals.
The Cougars (6-7-0-1) won just one of four games on the road last week, a come-from-behind 5-4 triumph in Seattle. They also lost 3-0 and 5-4 in Victoria and were on the short end of 3-2 decision last Saturday in Kelowna. The Cats play their next six games at home.
n Fans at CN Centre Saturday night are being asked to wear their Cougars jerseys and show their team colours at the Cougars' Ultimate Fan Appreciation Night, sponsored by BMO, for the chance to win a trip to the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup in London, Ont.