February 1, 2013, Prince George, BC — The Cariboo Cougars are back at home hosting the slumping Okanagan Rockets in a crucial weekend series with potential playoff implications.
The Cats are working on a six game unbeaten streak and sit two points ahead of the Rockets in second place in the BCMML. The Rockets, however, hold two games in hand and have the chance to make up their lost ground on the Cougars in their final two meetings of the regular season. But Okanagan will have to reverse what has been an uncharacteristic difficult past two weeks in which the team has gone 1-2-1 including losses to the ninth place Thompson Blazers and tenth place Fraser Valley Thunderbirds.
In what could be a battle to determine who gains second place in the standings come the end of the season, the Cats and Rockets split their previous weekend series in Kelowna with the Rockets taking a 5-1 win followed by the Cougars most dominating performance of the year the next day with an 8-0 shutout.
The weekend set also features two of the most powerful offences in the league with the Cougars scoring the second most goals with 160 and the Rockets fourth most with 146. Both clubs also have some of the best goal differentials with the Rockets allowing the second least number of goals with 75 and the Cougars the third least with 80 as the Cats have scored exactly twice as many goals as they have allowed.
It will be a tough assignment for the forward group on the home town bench with five players serving suspensions as a result of last Saturday’s melee with the Kootenay Ice. Braiden Epp, Tyler Povelofskie, Eli Jarvis, Tre Potskin, and Ryan Forbes will all miss Saturday’s contest with the Rockets while Epp and Jarvis will be eligible to return Sunday. Head coach Trevor Sprague is also serving a suspension as a result of the brawl and will not be behind the bench this weekend.
Saturday’s game is set for a 1:00pm start at CN Centre with Sunday’s final regular season matchup between the two at 10:15am. Both can be viewed live at cariboocougars.ca