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Prince George Cougars ready to face the nation’s best

PG currently riding a 3-1 record to start 2019, PA has lost two games since New Year's
Austin Crossley snipes a shot from the point at the CN Centre (via Prince George Cougars/James Doyle Photography)

Two Princes are duelling tomorrow night at the CN Centre.

One is the top team in the country, while the other is hoping to send them out of the Northern capital with shivers down their spine.

The Prince George Cougars are 3-1 heading into Wednesday's game against the Prince Albert Raiders, arguably one of their best runs of the 2018-19 season thus far.

Of those three victories, goaltender Taylor Gauthier has recorded two shutouts, the second and third of his Western Hockey Leage (WHL) career.

The 17-year-old was recognized as the league's top goaltender this week.

Vladisalv Mikhalchuk continues to lead the team with 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists), while Houston, BC native Josh Maser has scored the most goals for the Cougars with 16.

Maser collected four points, including three goals, in PG’s sweep of the Kelowna Rockets this past weekend, earning second and first star honours on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Defencemen Austin Crossley and Rhett Rhinehart will face their former club for the second time since they were traded to the Cougars on Jan. 6th, 2018.

Meanwhile, the visiting Raiders maintain an overall record of 37-5-0-1, sitting comfortably at the top of the WHL, and sealing their status as Canada’s best junior team for 15 consecutive weeks.

Prince Albert netminder Ian Scott, who competed as the back-up for Team Canada at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Vancouver, continues to have a dream-season, leading the league in goals-against average (1.78 GAA) and save-percentage (0.937 SV%).

Forward Brett Leason also suited up for Canada last month; he currently leads the Raiders with 69 points (30 goals, 39 assists).

PA also recently acquired Dante Hannoun from Cougars’ division-rival Victoria at the trade deadline, who recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) with the Royals in five meetings this year against PG.

However, in their first six games of 2019, the Raiders have lost two, both at home against Moose Jaw (4-2) and Seattle (4-1).

The mid-week match-up is the first and only meeting of the season between Prince George and Prince Albert.

Puck-drop goes for 7 p.m.