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
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 18:51
Cariboo Cougars goalie Lane Delfs got a taste of what hockey is like at the next level this week when he suited up as an emergency backup netminder for the WHL's Portland Winterhawks.
With Brendan Burke out with an illness and an injury, the Winterhawks were in need of someone to backup Corbin Boes for the second half of their midweek visit to Prince George. Delfs got the call on Tuesday morning and attended the WHL team's practice later that day.
"It was extremely exciting," he said. "It kind of just came up, I had no idea it was coming. It was really nerve-wracking, but at the same time it was a very good experience."
Delfs said getting a chance to see how he measured up against players from one of the top teams in the WHL was invaluable.
"It's good to go up a level and see what you're up against with those bigger guys and their harder shots," he said.
Delfs also had the chance to chat with Boes and get some tips on how to raise his game to the next level.
While he didn't see any action in Portland's 6-4 win, Delfs said the game day experience wasn't too different from what he's used to at the major midget level, but the more extensive opposition scouting at the WHL level was noticeable.
"There was a lot more preparation as the guys went over the other team player by player," he said.
This weekend Delfs is back with the Cariboo Cougars as they make the long trek to the play back-to-back games against the North Island Silvertips.
The Cougars are looking to clinch a playoff spot with a pair of wins and build towards making a post-season run.
"We've got to stay mentally prepared both days and keep a good mindset," he said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 18:42