Sitting in fourth spot, nestled between the third place Kelowna Rockets and the fifth place Kamloops Blazers, Cougars coach Mike Vandekamp says the team can only take it one game at a time.
“Right now we’re in a playoff spot, we have people chasing us, so we need to continue that momentum and increase our chances,” said Vandekamp post practice Tuesday afternoon.
Facing off on home ice Friday against the Rockets and Saturday against the Red Deer Rebels, the goal, said Vandekamp is to close the gap.
“We just need to focus on closing in on them and climbing those steps in the standings,” he said.
The Cats, of recent, have been enjoying a home-ice winning streak and while Vandekamp says the team is learning and improving as they go, his hope for the team is to remain strong at the Centre and get his players in top shape.
“The biggest things is that we need to get healthier,” he said. “We have yet to play our best line.”
The Cougars have been relying on power forwards Hunter, Drazenovic, Patterson, Walker and Zimmer and defencemen Featherstone and Wishart as their go to guys.’ But that’s not where the problem lies.
“We haven’t been disappointed with these guys,” said Vandekamp. “What we need is our depth players to be more consistent.”
But for now the team will take it one puck drop at a time. “The goal is to simply get in [playoffs],” said Vandekamp. “Then we can work on the other stuff like having home-ice advantage. I believe in this team, we just need to take it one game at a time.”
The Cougars hit the CN Centre Friday (tonight) and Saturday against the Red Deer Rebels. Game time is 7:30 p.m.