It's never hard to tell when Bryan Allbee is on the ice for the Cariboo Cougars. Not only does the blue-liner have one of the bigger bodies on the team, he's also one of the most vocal players in the rink.
Allbee knows the importance of communicating with his teammates and when he's open and looking for a pass, his voice echoes throughout the CN Centre.
"It's huge, everyone's got to start doing it," the second-year player from Prince George said. "We've got to start talking more."
All that talking is paying off for Allbee as he's averaging nearly a point a game for the Cougars, while still adhering to his defensive assignments in his own zone. His excellent play early in the year earned him the team's nomination for BC Major Midget League player of the month.
In 18 games this year he has seven goals and 10 assists.
"I'm trying to hop into the offence whenever I can and produce to help the team," he said.
Allbee said his offensive numbers have jumped this year in part because he's being put in situations to succeed.
"I'm getting the ice time and the points are coming a lot more than last year," he said. "Being on the power helps a lot too."
Prior to dropping a pair of games to the BCMML leading Okanagan Rockets last weekend, the Cougars had won five of eight and Allbee said the team is really starting to gel.
The Cougars are going to need to find that formula for success again asAllbee and his teammates are getting ready for back-back road trips in the coming weeks, first against the Vancouver NW Giants and then against the Valley West Hawks. The next home games are slated for Dec. 14-15 when the Greater Vancouver Canadians come calling.
On the horizon is the annual Mac's Midget Tournament in Calgary over the holidays
"I'm really looking forward to it, I had an awesome experience last time," Allbee said. "We were pretty successful last year."
Although his offensive game is flourishing, Allbee is still working on using his six-foot, 170-pound frame more effectively in the physical aspect of the sport.
"I know the coaches want me to start picking it up," he said. "I should be hitting lots."
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:19
Hockey Hall of Fame bench boss Roger Neilson was nicknamed Captain Video for bringing technology to coaching, but the Cariboo Cougars are taking Neilson's teachings to a whole new level.
With a camera in the press box and a tablet on the bench, the Cougars' coaching staff is able provide players with realtime video feedback between shifts. Cougars general manger Trevor Sprague believes the Cougars are the first team in the province at the BCMML level to employ the technology.
Assistant coach Mike Matthies has an eagle view of the game from the video suite and he's connected wirelessly via headset to fellow assistant Tyler Halliday. If either coach sees something that requires a follow up, they can chat and have Matthies send a video clip right to the bench where Halliday can go over the play with the players involved.
Matthies gave the example of a turnover as the type of situation which can turn into a quality teaching moment.
"It helps us coach them and it helps them coach themselves," Matthies said. "It makes me a better coach and it makes them better players."
The coaches have been perfecting the system in recent weeks, first trying to communicate by texts before switching to the headsets. Matthies believe they've worked out the kinks and are looking forward to reaping the benefits of being on the front lines of coaching innovations.
The players are responding well to the new tools the coaches have at their disposal.
"It's a big new fancy thing and I think they're really starting to like it," Matthies said.
The video coaching extends beyond just the in-the-moment clips players can see on the bench to more extensive breakdowns after games.
Once just a luxury for professional athletes, video coaching has been working its way into the various developmental levels of hockey for years,
"Now the sky is the limit for what we can teach them," Matthies said.
To learn more on what the Cariboo Cougars are doing you can view a video done by CKPG on what the team is doing with this new tech. http://ckpg.com/cariboo-cougars-exploring-technology-video
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 04:42
For the 8th straight year the Cariboo Cougars have been invited to the Macs Midget AAA Tournament in Calgary, Alberta. The team is looking to build off last years performance making it the farthest the team has ever gone, making it to the quarter finals where they fell in over time to the Czech Republic team Pirati Chumotov. This year the team is working hard to make it past that stage and onto winning the championship. The tournament will be held December 26th to January 1st.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 08:06
Jesse Roach scored the winning goal midway through the third period on Sunday morning at CN Centre as the Cariboo Cougars completed a weekend sweep of the North Island Silvertips with a 5-2 win.
The Cougars over came a two-goal first period deficit to get their third win in four games and leapfrog the South Island Royals in the BCMML standings. At 8-7-1, the Cougars are now three points up on the Silvertips (6-8-2).
Riley Pettitt, Steven Jandric, Cole Morris and Greg Dakus also scored for the Cougars, while Lane Delfs made 25 saves to get the win between the pipes.
With the score tied 2-2 in the third and Silvertips captain Joe Surgenor in the penalty box, the Cougars got their first lead of the game. Isaiah Berra's shot was stopped by John Hawthorne, but Roach was hanging out at the side of the net and squeezed the rebound in for the game winner.
Morris and Dakus added empty net goals in the final minute to ice the victory.
Down 2-0 after 20 minutes, the Cougars rallied to tie the score in the second. First Pettitt faked a pass on a two-on-one break and elected to shoot, beating Hawthorne over the shoulder at 8:50. The goal came moments after defenceman Todd Bredo did a great job breaking up an odd-man rush by the Silvertips.
With less than two minutes to go in the stanza, the Cougars were awarded a two-man advantage and wasted no time taking advantage. Just 17 seconds into the five-on-three, Jandric converted a tic-tac-toe passing play to even the score at 18:36. Bryan Allbee and Dakus were credited with the assists.
The Hunter Findlater, Surgenor, Trent Bell trio did all the damage in the first period for the Silver-tips. Just over three minutes into the game Findlater spun around in the slot and fired a quick shot, Delfs made the save but Surgenor buried the rebound. Bell also picked up an assist.
At 15:56 Findlater found Bell cutting across the crease and Bell slid it home. Surgenor picked up the other assist.
The Silvertips had another great chance late in the period, but Delfs came up big stopping Grady McInnes on a clear-cut breakaway to keep the Cougars within striking distance.
The Cougars finished the night two for four on the power play, while the Silvertips came up empty on three man advantage chances.
Hawthorne made 21 saves in a losing effort.
The Cougars have six straight road games come up, beginning with a two-game set next weekend in Kelowna against the league-leading Okanagan Rockets. The team's next home game is Dec. 14 at 4:15 p.m. at CN Centre when they host the Greater Vancouver Canadians.
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 November 2013 23:37
Chase Dubois scored a hat trick on Saturday afternoon at CN Centre as the Cariboo Cougars opened a weekend set against the North Island Silvertips with a 6-2 win.
The Steven Jandric, Jesse Roach and Isaiah Berra line also combined for three goals and eight points as Cariboo crept back up to the .500 mark with a 7-7-1 record and moved one point ahead of the Silvertips (6-7-2).
With the score tied 2-2 midway through the second, Dubois got his second of the game to put the Cougars in front for good. The play began with Cole Morris streaking down the left wing, but when he went to get a shot away his stick broke in half. Morris kept the play alive with his skates and eventually the puck worked its way in front to Dubois who beat Silvertips starter John Hawthorne with a backhand at 11:11.
Berra found the back of the net just over a minute later to give the Cougars a two-goal lead. The big forward cut in front of the net, got a shot away from the slot, collected his own rebound and beat Hawthorne.
After allowing four goals on 22 shots, Hawthorne made way for Liam Young in the Silvertips net. Young allowed two goals on 16 shots.
Jeremy Matte went the distance for the Cougars making 17 saves - including stopping a partial breakaway from Hunter Findlater and clearcut breakaway by Clayton Peace.
Dubois completed the hat trick on the power play in the third with a shot from the high slotat 5:56, Thomas Webster got the assist. Just over a minute later Jandric made it 6-2, with Roach picking up the assist at 7:25.
Jandric also opened the scoring at 6:42 of the first period when he dug around in the crease, eventually finding the rebound from a Roach shot and sliding it home before the net was knocked off its supports. Berra also picked up an assist on the play.
The goal came after the Cougars dominated the early moments of the first period, getting the first eight shots of the game and buzzing around the Silvertips zone with sustained pressure.
Dubois gave the Cougars a two-goal lead heading into the first intermission when his centering pass on the power play bounced off a body and into the net at 17:04. Scott Cullen got the lone assist.
Findlater scored twice early in the second to draw the Silvertips even. His first goal came on a nice individual effort weaving his way through the Cougars defence and lifting a shot over Matte at 2:15. He found the five-hole for his second of the night at 6:57.
The Cougars finished the night two for 11 on the power play, while the Silvertips failed to score on six man advantage chances.
The teams will complete the weekend set on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. at CN Centre.
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 November 2013 04:23