A weekend sweep of the South Island Royals moved the Cariboo Cougars into third place in the B.C. Hockey Major Midget League standings.
The Cougars downed the Royals 9-2 on Sunday, after a 7-0 victory on Saturday. In Sunday’s game, Hunter Brown finished with four goals – including a natural hat trick – all in the second period. Saturday’s game, meanwhile, saw goaltender Kenny Gerow earn his first shutout at the major midget level.
The Cougars completed the 2019 portion of their schedule with a 17-5-1-1 record. They trail the first-place Okanagan Rockets (20-2-1-1) by six points and the second-place Vancouver Northwest Hawks (19-6-0-1) by three points. The Cats have two games in hand on the Hawks.
Both weekend games were played in Saanich.
On Sunday, Brown scored the third, fourth and fifth Cariboo goals. His first two came just 44 seconds apart and he added his third under four minutes later. Brown’s fourth of the game moved the Cougars into a 7-0 lead as they headed into the third period.
Mathew Magrath, John Herrington, Landon Ingham, Devan Minard and Jaydon Merritt also scored for the Cats and Gerow picked up the win.
On Saturday, seven different goal-scorers did the damage for the Cougars, who led 2-0 after the first period and 6-0 after the second. Goals came from Carter Yarish, Fischer O’Brien, Aiden Reeves, Merritt, Brennan Bott, Herrington and Kellan Brienen.
The ninth-place Royals now sit at 8-17-1-0 on the season.
The Cougars will now start preparations for the prestigious Mac’s AAA Midget Tournament, which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 in Calgary. The Cats are in a round-robin pool with the Airdrie CFR Bisons (Dec. 26, 10 a.m.), Moose Jaw Warriors (Dec. 27, 8 p.m.), Calgary Royals (Dec. 28, 8 p.m.) and St. Albert Nektar Raiders (Dec. 29, 8 p.m.). The top team in each of the five pools will advance to the playoffs, as will the three clubs with the next-best records.
The Cougars will resume league play on the Jan. 11-12 weekend when they’ll be in Kelowna for a showdown with the Rockets.