The Cariboo Cougars opened the season with a 4-2 win over the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds.
Both teams played a tentative, scoreless opening period of B.C. Major Midget League hockey at CN Centre on Saturday with the Cougars (1-0) captain notching the winning goal late in the second frame against an opponent with no 17-year-old players. The T-birds (0-1) have three 15 year olds with the rest of the team 16.
Liam Blackburn notched the first goal of the 2012-13 Cougars season, beating T-birds goalie Zach Dyment early in the second period for a 1-0 lead.
The T-birds tied the game at 1-1 with a power-play goal less than five minutes into the second period but the Cougars retook the lead on a power play of their own when defenceman Kenny Nordstrom's point shot found the back of the net.
Cariboo captain Ryan Forbes game the home side a 3-1 advantage with his first goal of the season converting a pass from Stephen Penner, but the T-birds pulled with a goal when Cats goalie Nathan Warren's attempt to poke check Fraser Valley forward Kolby Steen backfired.
The Cougars killed off an early four-minute penalty to Tre Potskin in the third period before Michael Bell gave the Cats a two-goal cushion soon after.
The two teams play the second part of the doubleheader weekend Sunday, 10 a.m. at CN Centre. Admission is free.