The Prince George Freightliner Midget B Cougars were just hungrier when they stepped onto the ice against Surrey in the B.C. Amateur Hockey Association Provincial Championship.
The Cougars’ lead by Denver McCullogh’s four goals, swept past Surrey 7-3 in the final.
Cougars head coach Trevor Sprague said the team came out looking for the win after Surrey defeated Langley in their sem-final.
“Surrey looked to the stands after the overtime goal they said hey your next.’ That’s all the motivation that we needed. I knew then we would be coming home with the (provincial) banner,” said Sprague.
During the season the Cougars had top-four finishes at all their tournament including a win at a Kelowna tournament at the start of the season. They finished the season with a 44-14-6 record.
Jeff Woolsey, in his final season of minor hockey said he couldn’t have asked for a better end to the season. Woolsey missed the provincials last season with a fractured pelvis where his team came away with a fifth-place finish.
“This has been the best week of my life, the best hockey of my life. I couldn’t have gone out any other way. That is probably going to be one of the best moments of my life, going out and winning provincials,” said Woolsey.
“I just had this feeling that we can win. We came in with all this confidence.”
Both Surrey and the Cougars were tied after round robin. It came down to the fourth tie-breaker. With both teams 2-0-1 in round robin with equal goals for and against it was the penalty minutes, which the Cougars had less of, that decided the fate. The Cougars picked up a big 8-2 win over Fort St John in their semi-final before facing off against Surrey.
Forward Geoff Ronan said the difference between their meeting earlier in the tournament, which ended in a 2-2 tie and the final, was determination .
“I think in that first game against Surrey we played great. We out- chanced them and we did everything we could to take everything. We just couldn’t capitalize on our chances, while in the final we did. We definitely wanted it more. We came out hitting and shooting. Everything in our minds was to win this game,” he said.
The Cougars had a 2-1 lead after one and doubled that to 4-2 after two.
The Cougars depended on James Morrison in net over the weekend and he stepped up to the challenge.
“Every kid on the team came out and played. James Morrison played unreal for us in net. He had some key saves in all the game to keep us in there.”
The rest of the provincial champion team includes Tony Ferreira, Kelly Gronning, Roger Landry, Jesse Bernhardt, Jonathan Dyrblom, Dan Kubbernus, Chris Brewer, Darnell Calfa, Brent Andersen, Colby Johnson, Brian Horodyski, Jesse Sieben and Steven Mear.