The Prince George Cougars are back on home ice this week.
The Western Hockey League squad is hosting the Kelowna Rockets in a doubleheader this evening and Saturday at CN Centre, with each game slated to begin at 7 p.m.
The Cougars are coming off a three-game road trip in which they finished with a win, a shootout loss and a defeat in regulation time.
After losing 3-2 in a shootout to the Everett Silvertips last Friday, the Cougars returned north of the border to face off against the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday. They edged the Rockets 4-3 before crossing the border a third time to take on the Seattle Thunderbirds. They lost that game by a 5-2 score.
The Cougars enter this evening’s game with a record of 16 wins, 27 losses, zero overtime defeats and two shootout losses (16-27-0-2). As of Wednesday, their 34 points had them clinging to the 10-team Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot, six points behind the seventh-place Thunderbirds (18-21-1-3) with two more games played.
This week, the Cougars announced the launch of the 2009 Backyard Rink Contest.
The contest gives outdoor rink makers the opportunity to face off against members of the Cougars in their own backyard. Last year, the Raju family from College Heights won the Home Depot Backyard Rink Contest, a nationwide event utilized in 25 different markets.
To enter, contestants must fill out a ballot at the Home Depot store in College Heights or in the Cougars office at CN Centre. The contest ends Feb. 20, with the winner announced at the Cougars home game that evening.
Four members of the Inner City Boxing Club attended a fight card in Lethbridge, Alta. on the weekend. The card was geared for novice boxers with less than two carded bouts.
In a battle of close friends, Inner City Boxing Club 13-year-old teammates Nicole Berg and Megan Miller stepped in the ring against each other on Saturday and Sunday. Miller won the first match in a decision, while their second bout on Sunday was an exhibition tilt. Berg is listed as an 132 lb. fighter while Miller weights had a weight advantage of about seven pounds.
“Nicole fought harder (on Sunday), really determined to sort of upset her, but both win when it’s an exhibition,” Inner City Boxing Club head coach Bob Pegues said. “It counts as a win in their book, which was important for us again, for upgrading them for the cadet nationals next year.”
Nineteen-year-old Inner City boxer Damon Calfa made his boxing debut in the 141 lb. senior novice class, taking on Brian Carr of Calgary on Saturday and Kynan Vine of Medicine Hat, Alta. on Sunday.
On Saturday, Calfa lost by decision. On Sunday, despite falling behind 15 points after the second round, he gained 11 points to close the gap, but ended up losing. He and Vine were recognized as having the best bout of the night.
“He was great. Damon’s a great athlete. This kid is a real athlete. And he’s fun, and he’s motivated and it was really, really cool,” Pegues said.
Also representing the Inner City Boxing Club, 216 lb. pugilist Alex Doll stepped in the ring against Stanley Surmatcz of Edmonton in a senior novice bout. Surmatcz weighed in at 235 pounds, but Doll was named the winner after his opponent never returned for the second round.
“It was a really good weekend because everybody got their first fight,” Pegues said.
The Prince George Spruce Kings are also back on home ice this weekend, hosting the Surrey Eagles this evening and the Vernon Vipers on Saturday. Both games begin at 7 p.m.