Justin Almeida has had quite the year. The Kitimat native was selected 5th overall in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. He's graced the covers of magazines, he's won provincials and Westerns, now he will tackle his next challenge: playing in the BC Major Midget League. After spending several seasons with the North Shore Winter Club, Almeida has decided to return to his Northern roots and don the Cariboo Cougar crest this upcoming season.
We caught up with Justin this past weekend at summer evaluation camp to discuss his offseason training, as well as the upcoming season.
"My summer has been good, It's been crazy since the draft and I've been busy with hockey but I've had a few weekends off to just relax." he said, when asked about his offseason. "[Cariboo Cougars camp] provides fast paced hockey, it helps me get to know all the guys involved with the program, as well as giving me a chance to get back into game shape and show off all of my skills."
Justin has been in the spotlight for some time now; despite that fact, he doesn't let that disrupt his focus. "When I come here I'm just playing my game, I can block the media buzz out and just focus about what I do on the ice."
The Cariboo Cougars have built a partnership with Almeida's WHL Club, the Prince George Cougars, and he feels the relationship will benefit him: "They [PG Cougars staff] can come to the games and watch me to let me know what I could do better, I might get the chance to practice with them as well and that will make me an overall better player"
When asked about returning to Northern BC to continue his hockey career, Almeida responds "There's great pride here in the north, it'll be fun play here, everyone's so nice and welcoming."
The Cariboo Cougars organization is certainly looking forward to having Justin suit up for the club this coming season.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 01:00
The Cariboo Cougars have wrapped up their 2014 summer evaluation camp and as the camp has come to a close the excitement for the coming season is growing immensely.
Close to 100 young men stepped onto the ice this weekend. The goaltenders were treated to an ice time specific to their position the night before the camp officially started and were coached by team goaltending coach James Morrison, and Cariboo Cougars assistant coach, and 4 year WHL Veteran goaltender, Mac Engel. Each player had 1 team practice, 1 fitness training session, and 4 games with the opportunity to be coached by our coaching staff, our alumni, and Prince George Cougars staff, Assistant Coach Michael Henger and Trainer Chico Dhanjal.
As the weekend drew to a close the amount of players going onto next camp was cut to close to 50 young men. The next camp resumes August 29th through to the 31st.
The whole Cariboo Cougars staff would like to extend a huge Thank You to all the players who attended this years main camp, held at the Prince George Coliseum. We'd also like Thank all the Alumni, and Prince George Cougars staff, who came out, volunteered their time and worked with these young players over the course of the weekend, Stay tuned for more news coming out of camp throughout the coming weeks!
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 06:25
Major Midget Hockey Club
Main Camp August 7-10
All Ice Times at Prince George Coliseum, 888 Dominion Street (Downtown PG)
Thursday August 7th
Goalie Pre-camp (If necessary, Goalies will be Notified)
Player check-in @ 5 pm
* 7:30 - 9:30 pm: On ice
* 10:00 pm: Interviews/releases
Friday August 8th
Player check-in @ 2:30 pm - players will be assigned to their teams
* DRILLS: 4:00 - 5:00 Team Green
* DRILLS: 5:15 - 6:15 Team Gold
* DRILLS: 6:30 - 7:30 Team White
* DRILLS: 7:45 - 8:45 Team Red
Saturday August 9th - Main Camp - Games
Note: Fitness testing - bring appropriate footwear & clothing. Rain or shine!
* Fitness Testing: 9:00 am - Team Green & Team White (@ Masich Place Stadium). Chico Dhanjal of the PG Cougars and Tambolini Hockey Factory is running the testing.
* Game: 10:15 am - 12:15 pm - Team Red vs. Team Gold.
* Fitness Testing: 1:00 pm - Team Red & Team Gold (@ Masich Place Stadium). Chico Dhanjal of the PG Cougars and Tambolini Hockey Factory is running the testing.
* Game: 12:30 - 2:30 pm - Team Green vs. Team White.
* Player & Parent Meeting - Mandatory: 3:00 - 4:00 pm. PG Coliseum, Upstairs Meet-ing Room. (If players need to eat you are welcome to do so during this meeting)
* Game: 5:30 - 7:00 pm - Team Gold vs. Team Green.
* Game: 7:15 - 8:45 pm - Team Red vs. Team White.
Sunday August 10th - Main Camp - Games
7:00 am - All Players report to rink for reassignment into new teams
* Game: 8:00 - 9:30 am - Team 1 vs. Team 2.
* Game: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm - Team 3 vs. Team 4.
* Interviews/releases after games.
* For all remaining players, mandatory player/parent meeting @ 2:30 pm.
Last Updated on Sunday, 27 July 2014 05:15
Cariboo Cougar alumni Tyler Povelofskie spent 2013-2014 as a member of the Vernon Vipers. The team's main goal for the season: to win the RBC Cup on home ice. Today the National Jr. A Championship tournament starts and Povelofskie and his teammates are going to give it everything they have to win a record seventh RBC Cup, adding to their impressive total.
Coming into this season Tyler knew his role on the Vipers would be much different to the role he played with the Cariboo Cougars the season prior. Povelofskie was put into a leadership role by Head Coach Trevor Sprague, as Sprague entrusted him with the assistant captaincy. During his time in the BCMML, Tyler was also expected to contribute heavily offensively. This season, as he moved up into the BCHL that all changed. Povelofskie described his role, saying “I’m a 4th line energy guy, trying to do my best to contribute in any way I can with my limited ice time.” Povelofskie embraced the new challenge, feeling like he "put it all on the ice and left an impact" while playing that role this season.
“Scoring goals, a lot more goals this season would be great, and overall improvement of every aspect of my game” is Tyler's focus going into next season. With the Cariboo Cougars, the ice times that focused on skating and puck handling were intsrumental. “Puck Control is huge. You’re watching the older and more experienced guys. They’re so much better with that and it helps create so much more space for them when they’re on the ice.” Povelofskie added.
With a month away from game action, staying game ready was a challenge for Povelofskie and his Vernon teammates. Tyler believes the team's preparation in that down time helped keep them ready for today’s face off. “We had 8 days off so a lot of the guys went home and relaxed and enjoyed time with family, then we came back and did lots of skating at our practices to get our legs back. As the tournament approached, we worked on systems and had a few scrimmages.”
As it was during his time with the Cariboo Cats, Povelofskie understands one of the Vipers keys to victory is being physical, “We have a big team and we want to use that to our advantage. We also want to keep the games high tempo and keep moving, and we need to be disciplined and stay out of the box.”
The Vipers face off against the CCHL Champions the Carelton Place Canadians out of Ontario, and will also face the Dauphin Kings (MJHL), Yorkton Terriers (SJHL), and the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL).
Good luck Tyler! Show everyone at the RBC Cup what Northern Pride is all about!
Last Updated on Saturday, 10 May 2014 21:59
Northern Pride was definitely present in this years WHL Bantam draft. It was showcased early in the draft as Kitimat born Justin Almeida was picked 5th overall the Prince George Cougars. Almeida, who was a force for the Northshore Winter Club Bantam Tier 1 Winterhawks, scored the provincial title clinching goal, and was huge part of their gold medal performance at the Western Canada Bantam Championship. Almeida is set to return to his Northern roots and play for the Cariboo Cougars for the 2014-2015 BCMML Season.
Other draft picks from the north include Landon Fuller, who was selected 90th overall. Fuller is a 6'3" defenceman that weighs in at 190 lbs. He is from 100 Mile House, and played for the Bantam Tier 2 Timberwolves out of Williams Lake this past season.
In the 8th round the Prince George Cougars selected another northern player. They took Joel Patsey, who is a 6'1", 175 lb. defenceman who hails from Hazelton and played last season with the Smithers Bantam Tier 2.
The 9th round brought the drafting of Quesnel born Myles Mattila to the Vancouver Giants. He moved up to Prince George last season to play for the Bantam Tier 1 Cougars. Mattila took on the teams leader as he wore the C on his shoulder with pride. Mattila helped the team put up a strong showing as the team hosted this seasons Bantam Tier 1 provincials.
As the tenth round was about to come to a close one more northern player was selected. Nick Nordstrom, the 6'2", 170 lb. defenceman from Terrace was drafted by the Kelowna Rockets. Nick is the younger brother of alumni Kenny Nordstrom.
Congratulations to all the Northern men drafted today. Good luck at the rookie camps and show them what Northern Pride is all about.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2014 22:02