The Cariboo Cougars fell to 8-10-1 after losing 9-3 to the North West Giants in Burnaby. The same teams will meet again Sunday morning at the Burnaby Winter Club starting at 9:30. Catch all the action on playfullscreen.com.
The Burnaby Winter Club is never an easy place to visit in the BC Major Midget League, but the Cariboo Cougars won't be intimidated this weekend as they face then Vancouver NW Giants.
"My experience with the Giants is that they're always a good skilled hockey team," Cougars general manager Trevor Sprague said. "They like teams to sit in the penalty box and it allows them to work on their power play."
As a result the Cougars coaching staff has been preaching discipline this week as the team prepares for the trip to the Lower Mainland.
Because the second-place Giants (14-3-1) are used to having success, Sprague said the Cougars might be able to frustrate the opposition by playing good, hard hockey shift in and shift out.
"We need to have good first and second effort on pucks, win battles along the wall, capitalize on opportunities and make sure to get their 40 shots in and outskate them," Sprague said.
The Cougars head into the weekend looking to get back the two positions they dropped in the standings last weekend with back-to-back narrow losses to the first-place Okanagan Rockets. At 8-9-1 the Cougars now sit in six place, but are only two points out of fourth.
"We're working our way up right now to be one of the top teams in the league," Sprague said. "Coach [Bryan] MacLean is really happy; he's seeing a lot of progress."
The Cougars and Giants will face off at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday and at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.
The Okanagan Rockets scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Cariboo Cougars 5-2 in Kelowna on Saturday afternoon.
The top team in the BC Major Midget League broke a 2-2 tie with a power-play goal in the second period and added a pair of insurance markers in the third.
Jesse Roach and Isaiah Berra scored for the Cougars, who fall back to .500 with a record of 8-8-1. Steven Jandric and Bryan Allbee each picked up assists.
Jeremy Matte made 27 saves in a losing effort.
The Rockets improved to 14-2-1 on the season.
The Rockets opened up a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Cougars got one back before the frame was over. Cariboo evened the score in the second, before the Rockets went ahead for good.
The Cougars had come into the weekend with three wins in their past four games and had climbed into fourth place in the BCMML.
The two teams will complete the weekend set on Sunday morning with puck drop set for 10 a.m.
Bryan Allbee scored two goals and added an assist, but it wasn't enough to lift the Cariboo Cougars over the B.C. Major Midget League's top team.The Okanagan Rockets skated to a 6-4 win on Sunday morning in Kelowna to complete a two-game weekend sweep of the Cougars.Steven Jandric and Dallas Goodwin also scored for the Cougars, while Myles Matilla contributed a pair of assists.Jeremy Matte made 38 saves in net for the Cougars.The Cougars actually got on the board first as Goodwin scored on the power play, but it was the Rockets who led 2-1 after 20 minutes. Okanagan extended its lead to 5-3 after two periods, with Jandric and Allbee scoring for the Cougars in the middle stanza.The Cougars made it a one-goal game again in the third thanks to Allbee's power-play goal, before the Rockets added an insurance tally into an empty net.The Rockets had two power-play goals of their own as well as a short-handed marker in a game where special teams played a big role.The loss drops the Cougars to 8-9-1 on the year as they complete the first leg of a three week stretch which will see them visit the top three teams in the league. The Rocketd improved to 15-2-1.Next weekend the Cougars head to the Lower Mainland to play the Vancouver NW Giants.
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