by Allan Bristowe
March 2, 2014, Prince George (ISN) – The Cariboo Cougars dropped their final game of the regular season Sunday, losing 4-1 to the Vancouver NW Giants at Kin 1.
The Cougars, who finish the BC Major Midget League season in sixth place with a 17-21-2 record, will play the Valley West Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. The Giants, 33-5-2, secured the regular-season pennant with Sunday’s win.
Chase Dubois scored for the Cougars, who were looking to play spoiler against their longtime rivals.
Colton Kerfoot with three, Keyvan Mokhtari scored for the Giants.
Dubois got things started on the right foot for the Cougars less than five minutes into the, capitalizing on a turnover in the Giants zone and beating Vancouver starter Trevor Winters to give the home side an early 1-0 lead and some early momentum.
The Giants stormed back with Mokhtari tying the game at one midway through the period and then Kerfoot scoring a natural hat trick to put the visitors up 4-1 after 20 minutes.
Cougars goalie Jeremy Matte was busy in the first period, making 17 saves as the Giants had the territorial edge. He finished the game with 34 stops. Winters blocked 23 pucks.
The Cougars were stronger in the second second period, outshooting the Giants 10-4, but were unable to close the gap. Cariboo continued to pour on the the pressure in the third, buzzing around the Giants goal but couldn’t beat Withers to draw any closer.
Looking ahead to the playoffs, the Cougars played the Hawks tough all year but were unable to win a game. Valley West won 3-2 and 6-4 in Prince George on Oct. 19-20. In Langley on Dec. 7-8, Valley West won the first game 5-3 and the teams tied the second game 1-1.