Heading into the season, Cariboo Cougars forward Jesse Roach wasn't quite sure how his game would adjust to the B.C. Major Midget League.
As it turns out, the big forward from Quesnel had nothing to worry about. Not only does he lead the Cougars in scoring this year, Roach is also one of four Cariboo representatives who will be heading to Langley on Friday night for the league's annual all-star game.
"It's definitely a privilege, it was one of the goals I set for myself at the start of the year," Roach said of the all-star appearance.
He'll be joined on the ice by linemate Steven Jandric and defenceman Bryan Allbee. General manger Trevor Sprague rounds out the Cariboo contingent and will be making his seventh straight appearance at the game in a coaching or managerial role.
Roach will be wearing Team Blue's colours when the puck drops and will be up against both Jandric and Allbee who have been selected for Team White.
"It will definitely be fun to play against some of the guys on the team," Roach said.
He's looking forward to the game and maybe picking up a few things from his all-star teammates that he can apply to his game with the Cougars.
At six-foot-four and 191 pounds, Roach is one of the more imposing players on the Cariboo roster. He said he aims to play a power forward style game to go along with his finishing ability around the net. In 28 games this season he has 15 goals and 22 assists.
Many of those points have come playing alongside fellow all-star Jandric.
"He's definitely a great player and fun to play with," he said. "I know he can put the puck in the net."
While there may have been some uncertainty joining his new team this year, Roach said making the jump to major midget this year was made a little bit easier thanks to his Western Hockey League training camp experience.
"I thought it would be a lot more difficult to adjust to the league, but going to Vancouver's training camp this summer really helped me," he said.
Roach's play has picked up and he proved that by being named the Cariboo Cougars player of the month for December and was a runner up for the BC Major Midget Player of the Month. He hopes to keep up his solid all-star play the rest of the season.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 19:07
The Vancouver North East Chiefs earned a weekend split against the Cariboo Cougars on Sunday with a 5-3 win at the Prince George Coliseum in B.C. Major Midget League action.
Chase Dubois scored twice for the Cougars in the third to draw the home team even at 3-3, but a goal by Matthew Hermary with just over three minutes to go put the Chiefs ahead for good. Connor Burk sealed the win with an empty-net goal with five seconds to play.
Jesse Roach scored the other goal for the Cougars who move to 11-15-2, while Burk, Lucas Johansen and Kris Zlomisli also scored for the Chiefs who are 14-10-4 on the year.
With the Cougars down 3-1, Dubois got Cariboo back within one on a nice individual effort stealing a cross-ice pass and beating Chiefs goalie Adam Derochie. He got his second minutes later banging home a Roach rebound.
For the second day in a row the Cougars successfully killed off a lengthy 5-on-3 disadvantage, this time only conceding one shot against in a minute and a half in an early second period two man disadvantage.
Roach got the Cougars on the board in the power play just over six minutes into the second. Standing on the doorstep of the crease he took a perfect pass from the point by Carson Stephen and redirected past Derochie. Colton Thomas, who often mans the other point on the power play, also got an assist.
The Chiefs re-took the lead on a power play goal of their own as Burk whistled a shot from the point off the cross-bar and in. Parker Colley had the lone assist as the Chiefs took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
Zlomisli tipped home a Jeff Wong shot just over a minutes into the third to make it 3-1.
The Chiefs controlled the play in the early part of the first period and struck first with Johansen scoring his second of the weekend just two and half minutes into the game set up by Lucas Santucci.
The Cougars best chance in the first period came on a two-on-one break as Thomas Webster and Dallas Goodwin led the rush, but they were unable to beat Derochie.
Vancouver jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead on the shot counter, but the Cougars clawed back to make it 14-9 after one period.
Lane Delfs, who played both games for the Cougars this weekend, made 23 saves, while Derochie blocked 28 pucks.
The Cougars were 5-3 winners on Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars have next weekend off before they host the Thompson Blazers on Jan. 25 and 26 at CN Centre.
Last Updated on Sunday, 12 January 2014 20:31
Mitch Williams scored twice and had two assists on Saturday as the Cariboo Cougars defeated the Vancouver North East Chiefs 5-3 at the Prince George Coliseum in B.C. Major Midget League action.
Aggressive forechecking Williams and his linemates generated turnovers all afternoon which led directly to two goals. Dallas Goodwin scored a pair for the Cougars and Colton Thomas added another tally. Thomas Webster and Carson Stephens chipped in with a pair of assists each.
Connor Burk replied with a pair for the Chiefs and Lucas Johansen also scored.
With Cougars leading 3-1 after 40 minutes, Goodwin scored his second of the game off a blast from the top of the face-off circle early in the third set up by Williams and Stephens.
Johansen got one back for the Chiefs to make it 4-2, but Williams put the game away with his second of the game on the power play with under four minutes to play.
Burk scored late to bring the Chiefs back within two, but that's as close as they would get.
Thomas gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead midway through the second period when he took a pass from Williams after a Chiefs turnover deep in the Vancouver end.
Cariboo was on their heels in the later stages of the period, taking three penalties for illegal hits - two boarding infractions and one cross-checking call - which gave the visitors over a minute and a half of 5-on-3 time. Cariboo defended it well and Lane Delfs came up with some timely saves to keep the Chiefs at bay.
The Cougars got on the board first in the opening period as Williams forced yet another turnover and quickly converted it into an unassisted goal.
Each team also benefited from and odd bounce in the first period. First it was Burk who fired a puck from a sharp angle and it bounced off Delfs and in.
But the Cougars caught their own break later in the stanza when Dallas Goodwin scored off a broken play in front of the net. Thomas Webster and Zach Smith got the assists.
Shortly after the Cougars second goal Adam Derochie relieved Chiefs starting goalie Jakob Severson. Delfs went the distance for the Cougars making 23 saves. The Cougars directed 32 shots on the two Chiefs goalies.
The Cougars and Chiefs complete the weekend set at the Coliseum at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Last Updated on Sunday, 12 January 2014 00:53
Cariboo Cougars alum Nathan Warren makes the jump to Junior A hockey. Warren will be joining the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL after playing the first half of this hockey season with the Junior B level 100 Mile House Wranglers of the KIJHL. Warren has played in 21 games this season with the Wranglers and has recorded 9 wins along with a 2.82 GAA and a .917 SV%. Previous to this season Warren spent 2 seasons between the pipes for the Cariboo Cougars. In his 27 games played last year Warren won 20 of the contests and finishing off with a 2.53 GAA. The Cariboo Cougars would like to congratulate Nathan on making the jump to Junior A caliber hockey.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 January 2014 20:50
Three players have been named to the BC Major Midget All-Star game. Defenceman Bryan Allbee, along with forwards Steven Jandric and Jesse Roach. The game takes place January 17th in Langley. Allbee and Jandric will suit up for Team White. While Roach will play for Team Red.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 January 2014 03:36