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Prince George Cougars’ rookie goaltender to represent Canada at World Challenge

Tyler Brennan got his first WHL win this month at just 16 years old
Cougars-Rockets-Brennan 2019 home
Rookie goalie Tyler Brennan (#30) got his first WHL win against the Kelowna Rockets at the CN Centre (via Prince George Cougars/Brett Cullen Photography)

He’s generating buzz across the Western Hockey League (WHL) and now, Tyler Brennan will get the chance to put on the maple leaf for the very first time.

The 16-year-old goaltender is the only Prince George Cougar shortlisted by Hockey Canada to represent the country at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge next month.

Brennan is among 66 players in total, including six netminders, that will be divided into three teams for the international competition in Alberta and Saskatchewan, meaning he’ll either play for Team Canada Red, Team Canada White or Team Canada Black.

The Winnipeg, Man. product is coming off an upper-body injury, though he’s still listed as day-to-day by Prince George, but also not too far off from his first career WHL victory in his first WHL start.

Brennan made 26 saves on 27 shots from the Kelowna Rockets, lifting the Cougars to their first win of the 2019-20 campaign by a 4-1 score on home ice.

“I never thought this would be real,” he said following that game on Saturday, Oct. 5. “First start, first win, but for younger goalies looking to come to this stage, just keep working hard, put the time and effort in, and it’ll come. You’ll make the team you want to make and you’ll get wins.”

Through two games this season, Brennan has a 1.11 goals-against-average (GAA) and a .950 save-percentage (SV%).

There were 112 players at the start of Hockey Canada’s national under-17 development camp.

The seven-day World Challenge begins Saturday, Nov. 2 from Medicine Hat, Alta. and Swift Current, Sask.

In other Cougar news, Cole Moberg and Jackson Leppard were back in the line-up for this past weekend’s contests in Spokane and Tri-City after recovering from upper- and lower-body injuries respectively.

Brennan, Ethan Browne and Ilijah Colina are all listed as day-to-day on the injured reserve; Browne with an upper-body and Colina with a lower body, who’s been held off the ice since pre-season play.

Prince George has also sent two players back down to the minor and junior league levels in Saskatchewan.

Goaltender Jacob Herman, who signed a WHL standard player agreement with the Cougars on Oct. 11, has been sent back to the Swift Current Legionnaires in the SMHL.

He spent the weekend with the Cats south of the border, filling in as Taylor Gauthier’s back-up in the absence of Tyler Brennan.

Defenceman Cole Beamin is back with the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks.

Prince George is back at the CN Centre this Friday (Oct. 18) for a four-game homestand that starts with back-to-back nights against the Spokane Chiefs.

Saturday night (Oct. 19) is Oktoberfest and Mega 50/50 Jackpot night, with a guaranteed minimum $15,000 prize.