Stanton “On his Head”

By HF Staff

He has the best goals against average in the Western Hockey League, an eyelash above two (2.02). He has the best save percentage in the WHL an eyelash above 93 (.934). His record over his last 11starts is 8-1-2.

Oh yeah, he’s the Cougars “back-up goalie” and his name is Kyle Stanton.

The 19-year-old from “The Little Town that Did” (Chemainus, B.C.) is doing it for the Prince George Cougars.

“I’m just seeing the puck very well right now,” said Stanton, who earned his second career WHL shutout Dec. 29 in Spokane. “I want more playing time and to get that, I need to play like this.”

Stanton’s WHL career began in Kelowna before a trade brought him to the Cougars a season ago. He’s shared the Cougar crease with Billy Thompson, who has seen the bulk of work for the Cats.

Thompson was a fifth round draft pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2001 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

“Billy and I are great friends,” Stanton said. “We don’t feel like there is any goaltending controversy, we both want to play and when he plays well I’m happy for him.”

“Kyle’s a great goalie,” Thompson said. “He’s my teammate and it’s just to bad we can only play one goalie at a time.”

Cougar head coach Ed Dempsey noted that the current situation promotes healthy competition. “Not to many teams have two quality goaltenders like we do,” Dempsey said. “I think they both understand our situation and are working together to keep themselves sharp.”

COUGAR TRACKS: The Cougars continue to battle for first place atop the BC Division with a 23-11-4-2 record after 40 games this season.

Prince George is 16-4-2-0 at the Multiplex. The Cougars are 7-7-2-2 on the road at the 40-game mark.

Prince George has lost just two of their last 16 games on home ice. The Cougars finished the month of December with a 6-4-0-1 record. The Cats finished November with a 9-1-1-1 record and are 18-6-2-1 in their last 26 games.

The Cougars are 7-4-2-1 against teams in the BC Division this season. They are 10-3-1-1 against the US Division and 6-4-1 against the Central.

The Cougars powerplay has been ranked among the best in the WHL for over a month. Prince George surrendered just 10 powerplay goals during a recent 27 game stretch. They scored 28 powerplay goals over the same stretch.