Novice Cougars (Chris) heading into playoffs

The Novice Cougars (Chris) were back on the ice the weekend of Feb. 15 and 16 playing the Estevan Knights and the Estevan Oilers and they came out with two more wins for the standings.

         The Big Bad Super Charged Scoring Machine that is the Novice Cougars started the weekend off in Estevan at Affinity Place taking on the Knights. This was a real see saw battle that saw both teams with leads in the first period, and then the defence that was preached and practiced during the week kicked in, and the Cougars pulled out a 9-4 victory.

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         The boys were a cohesive unit that played with the echoes of Brody “Crash the Crease” Knelsen’s shirt ringing in their ears. It read “You miss 100% of the shots you never take” Wayne Gretzky.  Lucky for the Knights they had a goalie, who played very “BrickWall” Brown-ish and the game stayed close.

         I’m sure every Cougar had between 5 and 10 scoring chances, it was a true treat to watch as the puck zipped around the ice from tape to tape.

         The Fab 4 kept the Knights in check and also led the Cougars offensively.  Timely plays from all nine players on this squad solidified the “Team First” mentality that they go into each game with. Like Helen Keller said, “ Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.” and she couldn’t be more right.

         The second game of the weekend saw the Cougars defending their home ice against the visiting Estevan Oilers and sadly for the Oilers, the Cougars came to play, and I’m sure they could have even steam rolled over the team from Edmonton that shares the Oilers name.

         The boys flew out to an early lead and never looked back, like time travellers, it seemed like they were playing where the puck was about to be, and not where it was, which made it nearly impossible for the opposition to defend.

         The boys played with a nice edge that an best be described by Bobby Clarke, “We take the shortest route to the puck, and arrive iconic humour.” 

         The 16-2 routing of the Oilers again highlighted team work as everyone was involved and didn’t leave much for the coaching staff to complain about. “A real gritty performance from start to finish,” is all Coach Chris had to say in his post game exclusive interview.

         A great weekend took the Cougars to a 7-1 record.

         With two more games to round out the regular season the team was back at the rink for the weekend of Feb. 22 and 23.

         Saturday the 22nd had the boys lacing up their skates for an early 8:30 start in Estevan where they were taking on the Estevan Flames.

         The early start didn’t affect Hayden “Hands and Hair” Puskas as he played possibly his best and most complete game of the year according to the coaching staff.  “Hands and Hair” seems to be playoff ready as he had a great weekend of hockey.

         Going into the third period of this early morning match up  had the boys down 7-5, and a little down in the dumps. During the intermission Xander “The Postman” Brown put on his coaching hat and gave the team some great advice, “If we get around the goalie when he comes out too far, then we can score easier.” (I’m paraphrasing)  This plus whatever the coaches had to say definitely lit a fire under the boys, as they stormed out for the 3rd and scored 4 unanswered goals to win the game 9-7.

         This W showed some real character as the boys pulled off this comeback, while killing off penalties for most of the final frame.  Owen “Top Cheese” Light served 13 minutes in the sin bin and Nash “The Flash” Faber served 2. I assume the penalties can be attributed to the boys getting  that playoff feeling coursing threw their veins.

         Sunday the 23rd showed the Cougars closing out the regular season at home vs the Oxbow Huskies. The Cougars flew out of the gate and cruised to a convincing 20-0 win.

         With his first shutout of the season Nik “The Brickwall” Brown is carrying a 90-minute shutout streak into the playoffs, a perfect time to be playing his best hockey.

         The score sheet saw every number on the team written on it, and left this announcer with a sore throat. I formally apologize for announcing the wrong number for a goal scored by Griffin “Coast to Coast” Eaton.

         “Crash the Crease” and “The Rifle” pressured their opposition into plenty of turnovers, resulting in lots of scoring chances for them and their teammates.

         The game also saw Peyton “Scorey Spice” Faber lace them up for the big club again and play alongside and under the watchful eye of big brother “The Flash”, who was going bar down all weekend. Not surprisingly a great weekend of hockey closed out the regular season.

         With the team putting up 170 goals and only allowing 56, travelling 1,283 kms to tourneys and away games (Yup, I did the math), and pulling off a tidy 9-1 record, the team can take a well deserved break as they wait for the playoffs to begin and with this break let’s all collectively hope hell doesn’t freeze over, because if it does I know nine young hockey players that would probably head down for a game.

         See you in the playoffs Cougar fans!

© Copyright Carlyle Observer

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