The Cariboo Cougars will go into their final regular-season game Sunday secure in the knowledge they've locked up sixth-place in the BC Major Midget League.
Despite a 7-0 loss to the Vancouver NW Giants on Saturday evening at Kin 1 on parent and billet appreciation night, the other results around the league mean the Cougars know they'll face the Valley West Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. A South Island win over Fraser Valley means the Thunderbirds can no longer catch the Cougars, but a Vancouver NE tie against Okanagan means the Cougars can't catch the Chiefs either.
The loss drops the Cougars to 17-20-2 on the year, while the Giants improved to 32-5-1 and into sole possession of first place in the league.
Keegan Jones with two, Owen Stout, Colton Kerfoot, Ty Schultz,Quinn Thompson and Nash Dabb scored for the Giants.
Lane Delfs made 17 saves for the Cougars, including some difficult ones against Justin Szeto and Kerfoot to keep it a close game in the first period. Tavin Grant turned aside 13 shots for the Giants.
Stout opened the scoring midway through the first, taking a feed from Dabb from behind the net. Jones made it 2-0 3 1/2 minutes later as the Giants converted off a rush. Kerfoot made it 3-0 with a power-play goal with just two-tenths of a second left in the opening period, banging home a rebound.
After a scoreless second, Schultz put the Giants up by four with a short-handed goal. Jones made it 5-0, banging one in at the side of the net. Thompson added a power-play goal and Dabb scored late to close out the scoring.
The Cougars and Giants round out the weekend set on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Kin 1.
Last Updated on Sunday, 02 March 2014 03:21
The Cariboo Cougars put a scare into the BC Major Midget League's top team on Sunday, but couldn't slay the Okanagan Rockets at Kin 1.
Despite holding a pair of one goal leads, the Cougars were unable to close out the game dropping a 5-4 decision.
Jesse Roach scored twice on the power play, including a goal early in the third that gave the Cougars a short-lived 4-3 lead. He almost completed the hat trick late in the third on a would-be tying goal, but Rockets goalie Brendan Barry got just enough of the shot and the puck trickled wide.
Chase Dubois had a goal and two assists and Steven Jandric contributed a goal and a helper.
Tyson Jost had a hat trick for the Rockets, a day after scoring four times in a 9-2 Rockets' win. Jake Kryski and Tanner Campbell also scored for the visitors.
The loss drops the Cougars to 17-19-2 on the year. The Rockets improved to 31-5-2.
With the score tied 3-3 after two periods, Roach lifted a shot over Barry's shoulder on the short side to give the Cougars their second lead of the hockey game. But Jost carried the Rockets back, first banging away at the side of the net until he jammed a puck past Cougars goalie Lane Delfs then converting on a power play to put the Rockets up for good.
The Cougars generated a few chances to tie the game, but couldn't get the puck past Barry, who finished with 15 saves. Delfs was busier making 29 stops.
Down 2-0 early, the Cougars scored three straight to take their first lead.
Dubois got things going at 12:14 of the first when he rung a shot off the post and in on the power play. The goal came moments after Barry stopped a Colton Thomas one-timer at the side of the net, but Thomas was able to get the puck to Dubois in a great shooting position.
Dubois set up Roach just 29 seconds into the second when he made an excellent centring pass as the Cougars converted an other power play opportunity to level the score.
Jandric gave the home side the lead at 11 minutes of the second, taking a feed from Roach and beating Barry. Dubois also got a helper on the play.
Jost drew the visitors even before the second period was out, blasting a power-play shot to the top corner.
Kryski opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game when he finished off a nice power-play passing sequence with a tap in at the side of the net. Campbell made it 2-0 midway through the first period with a well-placed snap shot off a rush on the right wing.
The Cougars wrap up the regular season back on home ice next weekend when the Vancouver NW Giants make the trip north. Saturday's game is set for 4:45 p.m. at Kin 1.
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 February 2014 20:59
Brendan Moore became the first Cariboo Cougars player to score at the new Kin 1, but it wasn't enough offence for the team to get a win its new home.
The Cougars dropped a 9-2 decision on Saturday night to the BC Midget Hockey League leading Okanagan Rockets in the first major midget game played at Kin 1 since it underwent extensive renovations in advance of the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
Mitchell Williams also scored for the Cougars, converting on a power play late on the third period.
Tyson Jost had a four-goal, one assist night for the visitors, while line mate Liam Finlay had a goal and three assists. Cory Santoro had two goals and an assist while Carter Hikichi added a goal and two assists. Tanner Campbell also scored.
Moore's goal came midway through the second period with the Cougars already down 3-0. Isaiah Berra led the rush down the right wing and fired a shot that was stopped by Rockets goalie Reid Kilburn, but Moore drove hard to the net and cashed in on the rebound.
Williams' goal, set up by Todd Bredo, came with just 25 seconds left in the third period.
Jost opened the scoring less than five into the game when his shot off the rush beat Cougars starting goalie Jeremy Matte to the five-hole, for the lone goal of the opening period.
Jost made it 2-0 less than a minute into the second on a screened shot and then completed his hat trick with less than a minute to play in the middle stanza, finishing off a nice passing play to make the score 5-1.
Hikichi and Santoro also set each other up for second period goals for the visitors.
Finlay and Santoro, Jost and Campbell lit the lamp in the third, the latter two coming on power plays.
Matte played the first half of the game for the Cougars, making eight saves on 11 shots. Lane Delfs stopped 10 pucks in relief as the Rockets directed 27 shots at thw two Cariboo goalies. Kilburn went the distance for the Rockets, making 21 saves.
Prior to the game, the Cougars honoured all children who have survived or are battling childhood illnesses on Saturday night at the annual Jameson Jones fundraiser night. Twenty young people, from infants to teenagers, joined both teams on the ice for a ceremonial face-off.
The team also collected donations for the family of Olivia Langdon-Davies of Prince George, who is currently receiving cancer treatment in Vancouver. The event raised $2,625 and the Grewall Group and Subway donated 60,000 travel points so the family can travel back and forth during Olivia's treatment.
The two teams meet again on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Kin 1 to complete the weekend set and donations will continued to be accepted at the door.
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 February 2014 06:40
The Cariboo Cougars will entertain the top team in the BC Major Midget League tonight. The last time the Cougars hosted the Okanagan Rockets, the Kelowna club ended the Cats season in the league semi final last year. It will be the first time the Cougars will also play in the newly renoevated Kin 1 arena at CN Centre, which is Olympic size ice. Just when you think that's enough. Its also a special night off the ice. Before the opening face off the Cougars will bring back a young man who has become an inspiration to them. Check out this preview on CKPG News. http://ckpg.com/cariboo-cougars-to-play-first-game-in-new-kin-1-arena-tomorrow-video
Last Updated on Saturday, 22 February 2014 23:44
With a playoff spot locked up, the Cariboo Cougars get a chance to test themselves against the BC Major Midget League's best this weekend.
The Cougars make their debut in the newly renovated Kin 1 arena on Saturday night and welcome the league-leading Okanagan Rockets as the inaugural guest.
"We've got some free hockey now and I think it's great for the guys too take a breather," Cougars head coach Bryan MacLean said.
But with just two points separating the 17-17-2 Cougars with both the Vancouver NE Chiefs (17-15-4) and Greater Vancouver Canadians (18-18-2), the Cougars can still climb the standings over the final two weeks of the season. The Cougars enter the weekend in sixth place, but fourth place and home ice advantage is still within reach.
"We've got to keep plugging along here and get as many wins as we can and finish as high as we can," MacLean said.
To climb the standings, the Cougars will need to nab points either from the Rockets this weekend or the Vancouver NW Giants next weekend, two teams involved in their own battle for the BCMML regular season pennant. Both squads have identical 29-5-2 records.
"The road to the championship is going to go through either Okanagan or Vancouver, they've been at the top of the league all along," MacLean said. "It's not an easy task [these next two weeks], but at the same time we've worked really hard too and done some really good things this season, especially after Christmas."
The weekend kicks off at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday with the annual Jameson Jones cancer charity night. The team will be honouring children who have overcome or are battling illnesses and will be collecting donations to help a local family with medical bills for their daughter with cancer.
The set wraps up on Sunday morning at 10.
Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 05:23