To keep their playoff hopes alive, the Cariboo Cougars needed a victory. They responded with a determined effort against the Calgary Royals at the Mac’s AAA Midget Hockey Tournament on Saturday night in Calgary.
In the game, the Cougars scored four goals in the first period, on the way to a 5-1 win. After a 3-2 setback against the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday evening, the Cats could not afford another loss. Now, they will take a 2-1 record into their final game of pool play on Sunday night against the St. Albert Nektar Raiders.
When preliminary games wrap up on Monday, the top team from each of the five pools will qualify for playoffs and so will the three clubs with the next-best records.
In their tournament-opening game, the Cougars downed the Airdrie CFR Bisons 7-2.
In Saturday’s victory, John Herrington, Devan Minard, Jackson Hassman and Aiden Reeves all scored for the Cougars in the opening 20 minutes. The Herrington and Reeves goals were power-play markers.
The Cats went ahead 5-0 on a second-period goal by Alex Ochitwa before the Royals finally broke goaltender Jordan Fairlie’s shutout bid in the last eight minutes of the third period.
The Royals dropped to 0-3 in the tournament.
The Cougars will be in for a test against the Raiders on Sunday night. St. Albert has gone 2-0 thus far, with an 8-1 win against the Royals and a 6-2 decision against the Bisons. After they face the Cougars, the Raiders will wrap up pool play with a Monday tilt against the Warriors.