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
The Cariboo Cougars dropped their final game of the regular season Sunday, losing 4-1 to the Vancouver NW Giants at Kin 1.
The Cougars, who finish the BC Major Midget League season in sixth place with a 17-21-2 record, will play the Valley West Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. The Giants, 33-5-2, secured the regular-season pennant with Sunday's win.
Chase Dubois scored for the Cougars, who were looking to play spoiler against their longtime rivals.
Colton Kerfoot with three, Keyvan Mokhtari scored for the Giants.
Dubois got things started on the right foot for the Cougars less than five minutes into the, capitalizing on a turnover in the Giants zone and beating Vancouver starter Trevor Winters to give the home side an early 1-0 lead and some early momentum.
The Giants stormed back with Mokhtari tying the game at one midway through the period and then Kerfoot scoring a natural hat trick to put the visitors up 4-1 after 20 minutes.
Cougars goalie Jeremy Matte was busy in the first period, making 17 saves as the Giants had the territorial edge. He finished the game with 34 stops. Winters blocked 23 pucks.
The Cougars were stronger in the second second period, outshooting the Giants 10-4, but were unable to close the gap. Cariboo continued to pour on the the pressure in the third, buzzing around the Giants goal but couldn't beat Withers to draw any closer.
Looking ahead to the playoffs, the Cougars played the Hawks tough all year but were unable to win a game. Valley West won 3-2 and 6-4 in Prince George on Oct. 19-20. In Langley on Dec. 7-8, Valley West won the first game 5-3 and the teams tied the second game 1-1.
Last Updated on Sunday, 02 March 2014 21:08
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