Williams Lake family ties are hoping to help the BC Major Midget Hockey League’s Cariboo Cougars to another remarkable season.
Cougars’ head coach Trevor Sprague said four lakecity hockey players cracked this year’s lineup — two returning players and two newcomers to the roster.
Brothers Chase Dubois and Daine Dubois and cousins Colton Thomas and Trey Thomas all bring various skillsets to the table, Sprague said, noting Chase and Colton, both returning players, will be looked up to this season in leadership roles.
“Colton is a leader on our team,” Sprague said. “He’s a dominant player every game and that’s the expectation of a guy that’s 17 — he can’t show up and not play his best game.
“Our job is to put him into the BCHL or the WHL … he needs to be consistent every night which will help him out to be a junior hockey player.”
Chase, who plays on the team’s top line on Colton’s wing, likewise, leads by example, Sprague said.
In six games this season Chase has two goals, seven assists and nine points, while Colton has four goals and an assist.
“He needs to hold everyone else accountable,” he said. “For him it’s playing with pace and making sure he’s a dominant player every game. He has the skills and talent to do it.”
Both Colton and Chase helped the Cougars to a first-place finish at last year’s Mac’s Midget ‘AAA’ World Invitational Tournament.
Meanwhile, newcomers Daine and Trey are expected to play major roles on the team when the Cougars host the 2017 Telus Cup, Canada’s national midget hockey championship.
“Daine has the natural ability to be able to score goals,” Sprague said, noting injuries sidelined the young forward up until the past few games. “What he did earlier in our summer camp — we were comfortable enough to know he’s a guy here next year for the Telus Cup if he wants it.”
Daine has notched two goals and an assist in four games played to date, while Trey potted his first goal of the campaign during the weekend.
Sprague pointed to Trey as an instigator who should play a crucial role on this year’s club.
“He’s a Brad Marchand type player,” he said. “He’s got that edge to his game. He’s an agitator out there, teams don’t like him, and he’s a good 200-foot player, but he’s got to play under that bar to be effective, and he’s done really well.”
In six games the Cougars have put together two wins, three losses and a tie on the campaign.
“All four from Williams Lake are outstanding,” Sprague said. “Their character, their families they come from, they’ve done a great job.”
He also pointed to Total Ice Training Centre in helping with the development of lakecity hockey players.
“On skill development, they’re a step ahead,” he said. “Hats off to [Total Ice owner] Tyrel Lucas and his family for having a facility like that. It’s giving these kids an opportunity to move up to not only the Cougars, but these guys are wanted by Junior A teams and the WHL in moving their careers forward.
“The proof is in the pudding.”