March 6, 2013, Prince George, BC (ISN) – The Cariboo Cougars begin their quest for the Telus Cup Friday as their BCMML quarterfinal series begins against the seventh seed South Island Royals.
Finishing the regular season with an all-time team best record of 31-8-1, the Cats have earned the right to home ice advantage through the first two rounds of the post-season as the Royals make their second trip to Prince George in the last three weeks.
To say the Cougars dominated their first-round opponent in the regular season would be an understatement. In four meetings, the Cats outscored South Island by a combined 29-3, easily sweeping the season series. In three games against the Royals, Cougars goaltender Nathan Warren posted two shutouts letting in just one goal. Finishing the regular season with a record of 11-22-7, the Royals franchise is making their first playoff appearance since 2010-2011.
The tale of the tape shows two very different teams with the Cougars finishing the regular season as the league’s most potent offence scoring more goals than any other with 211. Allowing just 103 against, the Cats are tied with the Okanagan Rockets for the second best goals against. The Royals mustered about half the number of goals the Cats did with 108 while allowing 179, the highest total of any of the eight playoff clubs. Another stark difference is the number of penalty minutes taken by each team. The Royals finished middle of the pack with 657 through 40 games while the Cougars finished with the second highest at 915, an average of nearly 23 per game.
But all these numbers now mean nothing as the new season begins. Game one of the best-of-three quarterfinal goes at 2:15pm Friday at the Prince George Coliseum with game two Saturday at 1:00pm, also at the Coliseum. If necessary, a third and deciding game will be played Sunday at 9:15am. All games will be available live at cariboocougars.ca.