When you don’t give up any goals, it’s a safe bet you’re going to win hockey games.
That was the way the Cariboo Cougars did it in the B.C. Major Midget League semifinals on the weekend at Kin 1, as they downed the South Island Royals 5-0 and 4-0.
Griffen Outhouse got both shutouts for the Cougars, but coach Trevor Sprague said it was a team effort.
“We’ve been working on blocking shots and being a unit of five on defence, and the guys did a great job of it on the weekend.”
The Cougars also got balanced scoring from all their lines.
“We got good balanced scoring from all the lines,” Sprague said. “(Alex) Hanson’s line stepped up on the power play. Some of the other guys hadn’t been doing a good job on the power play, so Bryan MacLean, who takes care of the power play, decided to make the move.
“It worked out really well.”
The Cougars also made good use of scouting reports when it came to their offence.
“Any shots down low their goalie was getting,” Sprague said, “so we told the guys to start shooting high, and they listened.
“The last coupe of goals in the first game and all of the goals in the second game were up high in the net.”
The win puts the Cougars through to the BCMML finals, where they will host the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs this weekend. The Chiefs beat the Greater Vancouver Canadians two straight in the other semifinal.
“We had two wins, a tie and a loss against the Chiefs this year,” Sprague said. “All the games were close They have a lot of firepower, and we have to respect their speed, trying to get turnovers in the neutral zone.
“They’re the highest-scoring team in the playoffs so far, and we’re the team that’s given up the fewest goals.”
The winner of the BCMML championship will host the Alberta champions for the right to go to the Canadian championships. That league is also into its championship series this weekend, with the CAC Gregg Distributors out of Edmonton taking on the FA Bisons of Strathmore.
Game times for this weekend’s series at Kin 1 are 5 p.m. tonight (Friday), 1:30 p.m. Saturday and, if necessary, 10 a.m on Sunday.