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Calgary Buffaloes oust Cariboo Cougars from Mac’s tournament

The Cariboo Cougars fell one victory short of the championship game at the Mac’s AAA Midget Hockey Tournament.

In a semifinal playoff on Tuesday night in Calgary, the Cougars lost 6-2 to the Calgary Buffaloes. The Cats finished the prestigious event with a 4-2 record. Their only losses were to the tournament finalists, the Buffaloes and the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The Warriors beat the Saskatoon Blazers 1-0 in the other semifinal.

In Tuesday’s game between the Cougars and Buffaloes, the teams were tied 1-1 after the first period and the Buffaloes were up 3-2 after the second. The Buffaloes finally got some breathing room when they scored with 9:23 left to play in the third and they went ahead 5-2 on a five-on-three power play later in the period. Their last goal was into an empty net.

Calgary outshot Cariboo 34-28.

Jaydon Merritt and Brennan Bott were the Cariboo goal-scorers and Jordan Fairlie was between the pipes. Scott Cousins, who was called up from the minor midget Cougars for the tournament, was chosen as Cariboo’s player of the game. Meanwhile, team captain John Herrington, who led the club in scoring during the tournament, was named to the Mac’s all-star team.

In a quarterfinal game played earlier Tuesday, the Cougars clashed with the Okanagan Rockets and won 4-3. Both teams are from the B.C. Hockey Major Midget League, and the Rockets currently lead the BCHMML with a 20-2-1-1 record. The third-place Cougars sit at 17-5-1-1. When they met in league play in November in Prince George, they split a doubleheader (4-1 Rockets, 5-1 Cougars).

The Cats started the Mac’s with a 7-2 win against the Airdrie CFR Bisons, then fell 3-2 to the Warriors and bounced back with a 5-1 victory over the Calgary Royals. In their last game of pool play, they beat the St. Albert Nektar Raiders 3-2. The Cougars’ 3-1 record clinched them a spot in the playoff quarterfinals.

The Cougars will resume league play with Jan. 11-12 games in Kelowna against the Rockets.

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