The Prince George Cougars have some new young guns around, as the club announced Wednesday that they’ve called up rookie forward Craig Armstrong (’03) from the Edge Academy in the CSSHL, a day after calling up defenseman Cole Beamin (’01) from the Niapawin Hawks of the SJHL.
The Cougars are short bodies right now, the injury bug seems to have finally caught up to a team who were merely untouched by it in the first half. A team that has been on the road since December 2nd, and a team already with the longest travel schedule in the league.
On the most recent road trip, some of the team caught the flu bug, others were injured and the club found themselves with lots of space on the bench only losing their game Sunday December 30th, in Kamloops 2-1 with 17 bodies reported by Cougars play-by-play voice, and media director Fraser Rodgers.
PG had only five defencemen available today. Finished the game with just 17 bodies after Colina (hurt) Gauthier (sick) left. Deserved a better fate. https://t.co/g17DiuCn7A
— Fraser Rodgers (@Fraser_PG) December 31, 2018
The Cougars now have forward Ilijah Colina listed as week-to-week, d-man Cole Moberg listed as day-to-day, and no doubt more bodies aching. The Cougars aren’t the only team hurting right now, as it is that time of the year when bodies are starting to get worn down, and players are more prone to injury.
The big body of 6’4, 209 lb. Cole Beamin (’01) has been with the Cougars before, playing limited minutes in two games as a call up last season for the Cougars. This season, he’s had three points, and 64 penalty minutes with the Nipawin Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in Junior ‘A’ calibre hockey. Beamin was a 2nd round pick (31st Overall) in the 2016 WHL Draft but has not been able to crack the roster as a full-timer thus far. In his audition if you will, Beamin hopes to “be that prick to play against, and make the other guys take dumb penalties”
Craig Armstrong (’03) was the Cougars 9th overall pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft playing this season at Edge Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. Armstrong has been pacing at a point per game throughout the season, before leaving for Prince George he had 11 goals, 12 assists, for 23 points in 23 games played. Craig Armstrong should be logging a good amount of minutes in this call up, as the two-way centre has potential to be an impact full-time player as soon as next season. Armstrong looking to make his Western Hockey League debut a good one, as he’s likely to play in Kelowna against the Rockets on Friday January 4th.
As to what Armstrong says he needs to adjust to make a smooth transition from Midget to Major Junior he said “getting my shot harder, and because I’m going to shoot harder and better against WHL goalies because they’re going to be a lot better, and then just thinking my game faster cause you have to make faster plays in the ‘dub or its not going to work out well”
Prior to the road trip, d-man Cam MacPhee (’98) had been out since September and will be lucky to return to game action at any point this season, d-man Tyson Phare (’02) is listed at week-to-week with a lower body injury, and forward Reid Perepeluk (’01) is listed week-to-week with an illness.
The Prince George Cougars are back on the ice, and back on the road Friday January 4th in the Okanagan against the Kelowna Rockets at 7:05 PM PST.