The most unusual season in the 27-year history of the Prince George Cougars just ended a few weeks ago and in less than four months, if all goes according to plan, the team will be back in familiar surroundings playing hockey again at CN Centre.
Cougar fans who had to settle for watching webcasts of them playing a pandemic-condensed 22-game schedule in empty arenas in Kamloops and Kelowna will once again get to see the Cats live when the new season starts in October. The team is making plans for a full a full 68-game Western Hockey League season.
“We’re very excited about having fans back at the CN Centre in the fall and celebrating their safe return,” said Cougars’ vice president, business Andy Beesley. “We are committed to bringing our community together so they can once again enjoy what was taken away from them during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Cougars have already started selling season memberships for all 34 home games and are also offering fans their choice of games to come and see with their Pick Your Schedule memberships.
“Over the past year we’ve listened to our fans and have made changes to our ticketing options to reflect the fact they want more flexibility, more choices, and options to ensure they’ll feel comfortable and optimistic about returning to the CN Centre,” said Beesley.
The Cougars are guaranteeing fans the best ticket prices in the B.C. Division and are offering age-based pricing as well as location-based options.
Ticket prices will be discounted for seniors 65 and older, youth aged 7-18 and children aged 2-5 and fans will have their choice of four zones (green, silver, blue and red) in which to sit in the rink. Season memberships start at $300 and the best seats will cost $650. Child memberships are $250 in any zone.
Pick Your Season memberships give Cougar fans their choice of which games to attend, how many seats they want and where in the stands they want to sit. Those tickets can be used in any combination for any home game. All season members will be guaranteed seating priority.
The goal is to return to regular attendance as soon as provincial COVID-19 guidelines will allow it. The team is introducing paperless ticket-buying, an expanded downloadable digital game-night program and mobile phone concession ordering.
Go to pgcougars.com for more information about buying tickets.
Despite being one of the youngest teams in the WHL, the Cougars had a successful 2021 season, finishing fourth in the B.C. Division and seventh overall in the Western Conference with a 9-10-2-1 record. The team has taken advantage of several years of high draft picks to assemble a group of talented young players and they are showing signs they could be formidable playoff contenders next season.
First-year winger Koehn Ziemmer, picked fourth overall in the 2019 WHL draft, was as the Cats’ leading goal scorer with nine and he also had three assists to finish second in team scoring. Ziemmer was chosen last week as the top rookie in the B.C. Division and is a finalist for the WHL rookie of the year award.
Two Cougars are listed in NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings. Veteran goalie Taylor Gauthier (2.74 goals-against average, .915 save percentage, 7-8-0-0- record in 2021) is the 18th-ranked North American goalie prospect, while second-year defenceman Ethan Samson (one goal, 11 assists, 12 points, third in Cougar scoring) is ranked 92nd among North American skaters. The draft will be held virtually July 23-24.
The Cougars hold the 15th overall pick in the WHL prospects draft, Dec. 9. They also own the fourth and 41st picks in the WHL U.S. priority draft, Dec. 8