The Cougars went into a B.C. Hockey Major Midget League showcase event in Kelowna having lost five of their previous six games against some of the league’s upper-echelon teams. But, against the Royals – who have had difficulties finding the win column this season – the Cats skated to 5-3 and 7-0 victories on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
On Saturday, Cariboo forward Carter Yarish fired three goals, two of them on power plays. Alex Ochitwa and Hunter Brown also scored for the Cougars, who led 3-1 after the first period and 3-2 after the second. Yarish’s third goal – with 7:03 left on the game clock – gave the Cougars some breathing room and then Brown hit an empty net with 3:08 to go. Aleko Sdrakas got one back for the Royals in the final minute but South Island got no closer. Sdrakas finished with two goals and Jack Westhaver had the other one for the Royals.
Kenny Gerow was the winning goaltender and Ryan Dusseault took the loss.
On Sunday, Gerow stopped everything the Royals threw at him. Offensively, meanwhile, Brown led the Cariboo attack with two goals and an assist. Ochitwa, Jaydon Merritt, Yarish, Landon Ingham and Zach Leslie were the other marksmen for the Cougars. The Cats were ahead 1-0 after 20 minutes and broke the game open with four goals in the middle frame.
With the wins, the Cougars bumped their record to 20-10-1-1. With eight games left in the regular season, they’re in fifth place in the 11-team league. The ninth-place Royals dropped to 10-23-1-0.
The Cats will play all of those eight remaining games on home ice at Kin 1. This coming weekend, they’ll welcome the last-place Greater Vancouver Canadians (7-26-0-1). Game times are 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.