Either way, you look at it, the Prince George Cougars are Young between the pipes.
One of the fascinating developments this season with the (27-10) Cougars has been their goaltending.
The Cougars have allowed the fewest goals against (100) in the Western Conference and second-fewest in the WHL, behind Saskatoon (91) after 37 of their 68 games.
Keeping pucks out has been a plus for Prince George and one of the main reasons they have been atop the standings since the start of the season.
At the start of the 2023-24 season, Young, from Coaldale, AB, a 5th-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks, was pegged as the starter.
Little-known and undrafted Ravensbergen won the backup job in training camp.
Young, however, had a slow start and it was just the opposite for Ravensbergen who began his WHL career with an eye-popping six shutouts in his first 13 starts.
Cougars coach and G.M. Mark Lamb had no realistic choice but to reward the 6-foot-4 product from North Vancouver with more ice time.
In a recent stretch, Ravensbergen appeared to take over the #1 job by starting six of seven games (Dec 3rd to 27th) as Young had to wait his turn patiently.
On the season, Ravensbergen has the better stats, with his 2.07 goals-against-average and .927 save percentage ranking second-best in the WHL and his six shutouts number one in the league.
This compares to Young’s 3.04 GAA, .890 SAV and one shutout.
Young has been pulled in three starts this season compared to two for Ravensbergen.
With the highs and lows of hockey, like any sport, what have you done lately always comes to the forefront.
This is where there has been a bit of a shift back to Young.
Since the 10-day Christmas break, Ravensbergen allowed four goals on Wed Dec 27th in the first period against the Edmonton Oil Kings before he was yanked.
Young came in and allowed one goal, one that was stoppable, over 40 minutes in a 6-4 loss with an empty netter sealing the fate.
This was the second time in less than three weeks that Ravensbergen started but did not finish.
(The other game was Dec 8th, a 5-3 loss to Victoria, where the game went from 0-0 after one period to 3-0 for the Royals in the first two minutes of the second before the change was made)
On Thursday of last week, Young made 35 saves as his team was outshot 37-23 in a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen.
Guess who was the first star?
🎥SAVE OF THE NIGHT🎥
— The WHL (@TheWHL) December 29, 2023
After the game, Young told Brendan Pawliw of MyPGNow.com, that the holiday break came at the perfect time.
“It was good to have that mental reset and coming back I feel a little bit more motivated and was ready to get that second half started.”
Two nights later in Kamloops, Prince George beat the Blazers 4-1, outshooting the hosts 40-34.
Do you have any idea who the first star was with 33 saves?
Put yourself at the head of the class if you guessed Young.
Wednesday it was PG on the road again in Wenatchee with Ravensbergen back in the net, allowing two goals on 28 shots in a 6-2 P.G. victory.
Both will play this weekend as the Cougars have three more tests south of the border (Seattle, Portland, Everett).
One of the reasons the Cougars are the only WHL team not to have lost back-to-back games this season has been strong goaltending.
Going forward, Ty and Josh want most of the games to start, just like any other goalie.
Young appears to have the all-important right attitude.
“He’s (Ravensbergen) been playing unreal and that has been good for the team,” said Young. “I am going to be ready to go whenever I get the nod and I think our team is pretty confident in whichever goalie is in net and that is pretty huge coming down the stretch.”
Whether it is Young or the Youngster tending goal, the P.G. Cougars will have an answer to what might become an “Age Old” question.
The P.G. Cougars will settle this question the “old fashion” way by whoever earns it.
Cat Scan podcast:
This is season six of Hartley’s Cat Scan, a weekly podcast show that predominately features the PG Cougars.
This week my guest is Cougars president and part owner John Pateman in the second of two parts.
Did you know the @PGCougars operate on a
$3-million-a-year budget? The financial aspect of the Cougars including how many fans they need to break even in the Cat Scan #podcast Part 2 with team president and co-owner John Pateman. #hockey #WHL https://t.co/MUt1eZEROw
— Hartley Miller (@Hartley_Miller) January 2, 2024
FROM THE QUOTE RACK:
The NFL fined Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper $300,000 for dousing two Jacksonville Jaguars fans with a drink at a recent game. In fairness, Tepper did say when he brought the team that he was going to make a splash.
*Contributor Marc Ragovin of New York.
*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com
Two Wisconsin men have been arrested for the theft of 100,000 diapers. The accused claim it’s all a bum wrap.
*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com
Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He is in his 10th season as the radio colour commentator for Prince George Cougars’ home games. Hartley has been on the airwaves in PG since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).