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Cariboo Cougars split weekend games against Thompson Blazers

After a disappointing loss to the Thompson Blazers on Saturday, the Cariboo Cougars didn’t let their opponent into the game on Sunday.

During weekend play in the B.C. Hockey Major Midget League, the Cougars fell 3-2 to the host Blazers in the opener but maintained complete control in a 5-1 victory in the rematch.

The Cats went into the doubleheader as the heavy favourite but that didn’t matter in the least to the Blazers when the teams took to the ice at Sandman Centre in Kamloops on Saturday. The Thompson club took the lead early in the first period on a goal by Dylan Sydor and never trailed. Nico Myatovic of the Cougars and Branden Toye of the Blazers exchanged second-period goals and, in the third, Thompson forward Hudson Cameron put his side up by a pair. Owen Palfreyman drew the Cougars closer with 7:16 left to play but the Blazers held on for the win.

Kobe Grant (Blazers) and Jordan Fairlie (Cougars) were the goaltenders.

The next day, the Cougars scored five unanswered goals before the Blazers broke the shutout bid of affiliated player Kenny Gerow with 5:45 left in the third period. Cariboo captain John Herrington led his team with a pair of goals, while Jaydon Merritt, Hunter Brown and Carter Yarish also scored. The Merritt and Yarish makers came on power plays.

The Cougars led 1-0 after 20 minutes and 3-0 after 40.

Toye had the goal for the Blazers and Evan Pascoe took the loss in the nets.

Sunday’s game was the 100th in the Major Midget League career of Cariboo defenceman Ethan Floris.

With the split, the Cougars find themselves in third place in the 11-team league with a 15-5-1-1 record. They trail the first-place Okanagan Rockets (18-2-1-1) and the second-place Vancouver Northwest Hawks (18-5-0-1). The Blazers, in seventh, sit at 7-14-0-1.

The Cats have a bye this coming weekend. Their next games are Dec. 21-22 in Saanich against the South Island Royals.

The Cougars will compete in the prestigious Mac’s AAA Midget Tournament, which starts on Boxing Day in Calgary.

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