It was a meeting of the present and the future Friday at Total Ice Training Centre when players from the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association and the BC Major Midget League Cariboo Cougars converged for a three-on-three tournament.
The first-place Cougars, who have Williams Lake players Colton Thomas, Chase Dubois, goaltender Griffen Outhouse and Kolten Carpenter on the team, joined Williams Lake Tier 2 Timberwolves — from both bantam and midget teams — Daine Dubois (midget T-wolves), Landon Fuller (midget T-wolves), Lane Paddison (bantam T-wolves), Trey Thomas (midget T-wolves and Cougars affiliate) and Grady Thomas (bantam T-wolves) for the exhibition.
Players, split up into teams of six players, then had fun throughout the morning and early afternoon during the team-building tournament.
Cougars head coach Trevor Sprague said it was good to get some of the Williams Lake players out to play, and added it’s a testament to the work of the WLMHA and Total Ice Training Centre to see so many players coming out of Williams Lake to join the ranks of the BC Major Midget League.
“It’s pretty exceptional to see these kids coming out, us having four players from Williams Lake on our team,” Sprague said. “Williams Lake should be proud of those guys. They’re representing the city well.”
The four members of the Cougars are currently enjoying their successful season and hope to keep the momentum rolling into the playoffs in March.
Colton, a Western Hockey League Seattle Thunderbirds draft pick among the top five scorers in the league with 20 goals and 18 assists in 25 games, and Outhouse, the league’s top goaltender with a 1.77 goals against average who recently signed a contract with the WHL’s Victoria Royals, both said coming home to play in Williams Lake was a bit of a treat.
“It’s fun to be back,” Colton said.
“When they get to midget they’ll have good shots of making it so it’s good for them to see what it’s like,” Outhouse added.
Following the tournament the Cougars left Williams Lake for Richmond to take on the Greater Vancouver Canadians.
There, the Canadians snapped the Cougars’ 13-game win streak on Sunday with a 4-2 win, prior to falling the previous day, 5-1.
Colton scored twice on Saturday and once on Sunday for the Cougars, who now have a 22-3-1 record on the campaign.
Later this week the Cougars travel to Calgary for the Mac’s ‘AAA’ Tournament. They open Boxing Day against the Lethbridge Hurricanes and also have round-robin dates with the Calgary Northstars (Dec. 28), the Battlefords Stars (Dec. 29) and the Markham Waxers (Dec. 30).