Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Ziemmer strikes twice, Cats sweep Giants

Cougars back in CN Centre Tuesday and Wednesday to face Victoria Royals
Cougars in Langley Jan 15 2022
Tyler Brennan stops a point shot from Alex Cotton while Zack Ostapchuk runs interference near the net Saturday in Langley. Brennan made 27 saves in a 4-2 win over the Giants.

Koehn Ziemmer continues to get better with age.

Just turned 17 on Dec. 8, playing in his first full Western Hockey League season, Ziemmer looked like a well-seasoned veteran Saturday night in Langley, where he scored two goals to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Giants.

Ziemmer scored his goals 52 seconds apart in the first period, the second-quickest player this season in the WHL to fire two goals, and that staked the Cats to an early 2-0 lead.

The first came directly off a face-off win by Cougar centre Riley Heidt and Ziemmer moved into a set position to take the shot. The 16-year-old Heidt also drew the primary assist on Ziemmer second goal dishing him the puck for a one-timed shot from the left face-off circle. Ziemmer had chance for his first career hat trick in the second period when he took off on a breakaway but fanned on his shot, with Giants defenceman Tanner Brown doing everything he could to legally impede Ziemmer’s progress.  

It became a 3-0 game just before the midway marl of the second period when defenceman Ethan Samson unleashed a wicked slapper from the point that found the mesh behind goalie Jesper Vikman. It was Samson’s third goal in two games against the Giants.

The Giants scored 13 minutes into the first period with 19 seconds left in a power play when Brown’s wrister from the point was redirected by Connor Horning. Another power play late in the period made it a one-goal game with three minutes left in the period. Justin Lies blasted a goalmouth pass from Horning in with seven seconds left in the power play and the Giants manhandled the Cougars for the rest of the period, generating several dangerous chances, but were unable to score.

Cougar captain Jonny Hooker ended the suspense with an empty-net goal with 38 seconds left.

With the win, their fourth in the pat five games against Vancouver, the Cougars (15-17-1-1) pulled into a third-place B.C. Division tie with the Giants (15-17-2-0).

Tyler Brennan was impressive again, guarding the Cougar cages. He stopped 28 of 29 shots Saturday, after a stellar performance Friday night when he made 37 saves in a 3-2 overtime win over the Giants. The 18-year-old Brennan shot across the crease to rob Giant forward Cole Shepard with his glove, 11 minutes into the first period, for a website highlight featured as the WHL’s save of the night.

“We found different ways to win this weekend and that is so important for our young group,” said associate coach Josh Dixon.

“Friday, we battled back to win in overtime, but tonight we had a great start and then had some puck management issues. Vancouver put us on our heels a bit in the back half of the game, but we found a way to survive it. The last two games were certainly different ways to win and that is an encouraging sign.”

The Cougars have a busy week ahead with their next three games at CN Centre, stating with a two-game set against the Victoria Royals Tuesday and Wednesday. Those are makeup dates for games that were supposed to be played last week but were postponed because the Royals and Cougars had players in COVID isolation. The Cougars also host the Kamloops Blazers Friday night in a home-and-home series that continues Saturday in Kamloops.

The Cats than head out the following week for a six-game U.S. Division tour that starts Jan. 28 in Everett.