Cougars backup plays Giants killer
Brennan is playing way beyond his years and the Vancouver Giants would be the first to vouch for that.
The 16-year-old Prince George Cougars rookie goalie, in only his second WHL start, stunned the Giants with a 37-save performance that backed the Cats to a 3-2 overtime win Sunday afternoon in Langley.
Ryan Schoettler cashed in a 3-on-1 chance 4:29 into OT to seal the victory, which ended a four-game losing streak.
Goals by Reid Perepeluk and Ilijah Colina staked the Cougars to a 2-0 lead after one period. The Giants answered with consecutive goals to tie it in the second period. Tristen Nielsen connected on a Vancouver power play, followed at even-strength by Jackson Shepard.
Brennan was at his best in the third period, when the Cougars were outshot Citizen staff The Winnipeg native, chosen by the Cats 22st overall in the 2018 WHL bantam draft, came up with one of the saves of the week in the WHL when he dove at the goal line and got his glove in the way of a Milos Roman shot late in regulation time while the Giants were on one of their eight power plays.
Brennan was called into service as a replacement for Taylor Gauthier, who suffered a leg injury in a collision with a Tri-City American player during the second period of Saturday’s 5-2 Cougar loss in Kennewick, Wash.
Gauthier did not dress for Sunday’s game and the Cougars had an emergency backup netminder on the bench.
In five games of WHL action, Brennan has a perfect 2-0-0 record and has allowed just eight goals for a 2.08 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.
It was Brennan’s last game for the Cougars before he left to play for Team Canada White at the World Under-17-hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat, Alta., and Swift Current, Sask. Canada White will face Russia in a pre-tournament game Thursday in Swift Current and will open against Canada Blacks on Saturday in Medicine Hat.
The Cougars (4-9-0-1, fifth in B.C. Division) will be back on the road for games Friday in Kelowna and Saturday in Spokane. They host the Medicine Hat Tigers at CN Centre on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
Sunday’s win left the Cats just two points behind the fourth-place Victoria Royals (5-5-1-1-0) and six points back of the third-place Giants (7-8-1-0).