The Prince George Farr Fabricating Bantam AAA Cougars and the Prince George Freightliner Midget AAA Cougars and the WIC Female Bantam Cougars will start play today at B.C. Amateur Hockey Association Provincial Championships.
The Bantam AAA Cougars are heading off to Kamloops for the eight team tournament which gets underway on Sunday.
Cougars coach Joe Tschampa said the team is looking good heading into the provincials.
“Overall we’re pretty healthy. We lost Daniel Roney for the rest of the year and he’s our biggest centreman. It’s just a matter of us getting together and putting our best foot forward and see how we finish,” said Tschampa.
Tschampa is expecting the tournament to be tough with Burnaby Winter Club, North Shore Winter Club, Kamloops and Kelowna all being there.
He expects the tournament to be tough for the team.
“Our goaltending and defence is the strength of this team,” said Tschampa. “Everybody wants to win. We want to go down there and compete and give us a chance. And if we win that will be fantastic.
“I think we’ll pretty much have seen all the teams that are going to be down there. And it’s not going to be easy.”
The Midget AAA Cougars will get plenty of playing time as the team heads down with four defenceman, nine forwards and two goalies.
“We made provincials that was the goal all year long,” said Cougars coach Trevor Sprague. “That is what they wanted. To go down and have a good time and represent minor hockey and PG.”
The Cats will need solid team defence during the six team tournament.
“It’s kind of a shooting match going into the provincials. It’s all up in the air. It’s pretty much the best team that’s consistent that wins in the end,” he said.
The Cats will face off against Kamloops, Port Coquitlam, Fort St. John, Nanaimo and Langley in round robin action, with the top two teams facing off in the final.
“Defenceman Paul Harford won’t be back for the rest of the season with his torn tendons [ankle]. He’s going to be missed that’s for sure. I think our goaltending has been pretty good with Dustin Strachan and James Morrison. On defence we have only four guys and they are all playing pretty solid. On offence our forwards have been playing really aggressive and winning a lot of battles and they have been taking it to the teams instead of sitting back,” said Sprague.
The Bantam Female Cougars are headed off to Maple Ridge for a five team tournament. The Bantams will be looking for a banner this year after dropping a 5-2 decision to Victoria in last year’s final.
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Cougars coach Tom Jurista. “Our goal without a doubt is to bring home a provincial banner. Last year they came close and eight of the girls tasted that. We have been focusing on this all year.”
The Cougars have had a chance to play against some of the teams who will be there. They have picked up wins against North Shore and Surrey.
Here in town the Peewee B and Midget B provincials will get under way today. The Coast Inn of the North Midget B Cougars will face off against Kelowna at 11 a.m. and South Delta at 5 p.m. in Kin 1. The Viking Construction B Cougars will face off against Burnaby Winter Club at 8:15 a.m. and North Shore Winter Club at 1:45 p.m. in Kin 1. Opening ceremonies will be held at 4:15 at Kin 1.