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HARTLEY’S HART ATTACK – (It is time for Teddy Bear toss) Dec. 8, 2023 EDITION 970

Other than playing for the Prince George Cougars what do Ethan Samson, Ilijah Colina, Vladislav Mikhalchuk, Josh Maser, Josh Curtis, Colby McAuley, Zach Pochiro, Tyler Mrkonjic and Alex Forsberg have in common?

Put yourself at the head of the class if you said they all scored a Teddy Bear Toss goal at CN Centre.

In Samson’s case, he did it in each of the last two years.

Saturday should be fun as the (21-7) Cougars play their final home game before the Christmas break hosting the (17-11-0-2) Victoria Royals in the Teddy & Toque Toss game (6 PM start).

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It is the second half of a doubleheader as the two teams also play tonight (7:00 Friday) in PG.

The Cougars have feasted on the Royals going 12-0-0-1 in their last 13 meetings.

The event is in support of the Salvation Army.

All fans who attend Saturday’s game are encouraged to bring a new or gently used stuffed toy or warm winter clothes (coats, toques, socks, blankets, and mittens).

When the Cougars score their first goal, fans can throw bagged donations onto the ice.

Going by recent history, there is a very good chance the Cougars will either win the game or at least get a point in front of a large home crowd.

Would you believe that over an 11-year time frame, the Cougars are 8-0-2 in their last 10
Teddy Bear Toss games on home ice?

Seven of those 10 goals came in the first period and the other three in the second period.

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Last year in 2022, Ethan Samson tallied at 5:15 of the second period on a power play to tie the game at 1 and the Cougars went on to a 4-3 overtime loss against the Kamloops Blazers before 4,627 fans at CN Centre.

The year before in 2021, Samson opened the scoring at 4:07 of the first period and the Cougars went on to a 3-2 victory over Kamloops before a COVID-19 capacity crowd of 2,951 (building half-full).

There was no Teddy Bear Toss game in 2020 because of the pandemic.

In 2019, Ilijah Colina scored on the first shot of the game at 1:28 of the opening period and the Cougars went on to beat Victoria 4-2 in front of 3,395 fans.

In 2018, in a PG 5-3 win over Victoria before a crowd of 3,614, Vladislav Mikhalchuk tallied twice, including the Teddy Bear goal at 7:49 into the first period.

In 2017, the Cougars did not get the victory but they got a point.

Josh Maser started his hat trick with a goal at 13:41 of the first in a 5-4 overtime loss to Victoria in front of 4,175 fans.

In 2016, Josh Curtis got the Teddy Bear goal at 6:02 of the second period and the Cougars went on to beat Seattle 6-4 before 5,775.

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In 2015, Colby McAuley got PG on the board at 14:30 of the first in an 8-2 triumph over Victoria in front of 5,560 fans.

In 2014, Zach Pochiro tallied the Cougars Teddy Bear goal at 19:43 of the first in a 4-3 win over Saskatoon before 4,800 jubilant fans.

In 2013, Tyler Mrkonjic scored at 5:36 of the first in a Prince George 5-2 win over Tri-City before 2,498 fans.

In 2012, Alex Forsberg scored at 17:47 of the second in a PG 2-1 win over Vancouver in front of a crowd of 4,629.

Over the last 11 years, in 10 Teddy Bear Toss games at CN Centre, the average crowd has been 4,202 and the Cougars have outscored the opposition 44-28 (for an average of 4.4 goals compared to 2.8 against) while not losing in regulation.

The last time the Cougars lost a home Teddy Bear Toss game in regulation time was 12 years ago in 2011 when they fell 3-1 to Vancouver before 4,696. (Alex Forsberg had the PG goal at 15:26 of the third)

The Cougars have been the dominant team in the BC Division this year and this weekend they get another opportunity to “bear” down on the opposition.


Cat Scan podcast:

This is season six of Hartley’s Cat Scan, a weekly podcast show that predominately features the PG Cougars.

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This week my guest is Cougars Director of Business and goalie coach Taylor Dakers.



Does anyone actually understand, or care, about this NBA in-season tournament?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California

The LA Chargers defeated the New England Patriots 6-0 in a brutal, listless snoozer. It was so bad that in the fourth quarter, security came down to the field and drew chalk outlines around the players.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson once said on The Tonight Show his daughter has a fear of shopping mall Santas. I’m thinking it’s Claustrophobia.

*Comedy writer RJ Currie of Winnipeg

Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. After growing up in Winnipeg, he has lived in Prince George for the last 44 years and is in his 11th season as the radio colour commentator on the Prince George Cougars home games. Hartley is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).


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