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Prince George Cougars fire Head Coach Richard Matvichuk

Bench boss gets the pink slip after losing 11th straight game Wednesday
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After nearly three years in B.C.’s northern capital, Richard Matvichuk has been fired by the Prince George Cougars as their head coach.

This comes less than 12 hours after the team suffered their 11th straight loss on Wednesday, dropping a 4-3 decision in overtime to Vancouver.

General Manager Mark Lamb is taking over as head coach on an interim basis until the team is able to find a full-time replacement.

“On behalf of the Cougars organization, we thank Richard for his dedication to the team over the past three seasons. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” said Lamb in a news release. "We want our players to come to the rink with a great attitude and work ethic, dedicating themselves to developing a style of play that will give us the best chance at success moving forward.”

Matvichuk coached 196 regular season games with the Cougars, giving the franchise their first ever Western Hockey League (WHL) BC Division banner in 2016-17.

The 46-year-old also guided the team to a new franchise record of 45 wins in a single season that same year.

He went on to lose in the first round of the WHL playoffs as the number-one overall seed in the western conference to wild-card Portland in six games.

The team missed the playoffs the following year, only managing a 24-38-0-10 record.

Prince George associate coach Steve O’Rourke will stay in his position.

Director of Player Development, and Cougar alum, Nick Drazenovic has been promoted to associate coach as well.

In the last six months, the Cougars have compiled just 16 wins in 52 games and have sunk to the bottom of the division and western conference.

With 16 games remaining, Prince George is eight points out of a potential playoff spot.




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Kyle  Balzer

About the Author: Kyle Balzer

Kyle Balzer graduated with distinction from BCIT's Broadcast & Online Journalism program in 2016. Since moving to Prince George, he has covered a variety of stories from education & Indigenous relations, to community interests & sports.
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