The Prince George Cougars definitely proved once again last night (Nov. 15) that they have one of the best goaltenders in the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Despite not receiving the first star, Taylor Gauthier was the best player on the ice after standing on his head in a 43-save performance against the B.C. Division-best Blazers.
This was Gauthier’s 16th start of the season between the pipes, stopping 15, 16 and 12 shots in each period respectively at the Sandman Centre.
The lone goal of the contest came 38 seconds into the final frame when Matthew Seminoff found a small space between Gauthier and the post from near the right-wing goal-line.
Cougars forward Ethan Browne had the best chance for his team to get on the board, but missed his penalty shot opportunity at the 15:34 mark of the first period.
He was initially taken down on a breakaway by Sean Strange to be awarded the free shot.
There was also just one penalty in the tight tilt, which was given to Prince George defenceman Ryan Schoettler two minutes into the opening period for hooking.
Fortunately, the Cougars were able to kill it off.
On the other side, rookie netminder Rayce Ramsay earned his second career WHL shutout by stopping all 23 shots he faced.
Prince George’s record drops to 4-14-0-2 through the first 20 games of 2019-20.
Friday was also the first game back on North American ice for Vladislav Mikhalchuk, who finally got his paperwork to slip on a Prince George Cougar sweater after resigning with the team over 10 days ago, and posted two shots on goal in his return.
The Cats travel to Langley tonight (Nov. 16) for another B.C. Division-rival clash, this time against the Vancouver Giants at 7 p.m.