At times this season, the Viking Construction Cougars have had problems capitalizing on scoring chances.
That certainly wasn't the case in their Friday opener at the Prince George Citizen Peewee Tournament of Champions.
The Cougars, the city's peewee Tier 1 rep hockey club, started the four-team event with a 7-3 win against the Omineca All-Stars. Playing at Kin 3, the host Cats jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the first period and held the lead the whole way. Brennan Malgunas, a 12-year-old right-winger, led Viking offensively with three goals -- two of them set up by linemate Garrett Anderson.
"We got to the net and we buried," Malgunas said. "We did well on that. We had a lot of finish today."
Malgunas's first goal came after he drove to the net and picked up the rebound of a Craig McDonald shot. His second marker was a beauty, a one-timer off a pass from Anderson. Malgunas later got the hat trick -- his first of the season -- when a hard-skating Anderson found him with a back-door feed.
Austin Guignard, Chase Schurack, Braeden Young and Matthew Macsemniuk also scored for the Cougars.
In goal, Marcus Allen picked up the victory.
"He stood right in there," said Cougars head coach Marcel Prive. "He made about three tough stops in the first period to keep us up. It was a real solid game from him."
The Cats have been short on numbers all season. And, with forward Justin Karrer on the sidelines with a broken wrist, they have just seven forwards and four defencemen available for the tournament. Given the team's lack of manpower, Prive was even more impressed with the result against Omineca.
"We've got a pretty short bench and they played as hard as they could," he said.
The Omineca club is formed by players from Prince Rupert, Terrace and other western communities.
The Cougars have two more games today, both at Kin 3. At 10 a.m., the Cats will take on the Prince George Freightliner Tier 2 Cougars and, at 4:45 p.m., they'll skate against the Dawson Creek Canucks. Dawson Creek won its lone Friday game, 10-3 over Freightliner.
The top two teams will meet in Sunday's final (10 a.m., Kin 3).
The Viking Cougars are looking for their first tournament victory of the season.