In their final home games of the season, the Cariboo Cougars will face a team they'll likely meet again in the first round of playoffs.
Today and Sunday at CN Centre, the Cougars will step onto the ice against the South Island Royals. Going into the doubleheader, the Cats are in second place in the B.C. Hockey Major Midget League and the Royals are in seventh. If those positions remain the same after season-ending games next weekend, as they probably will, a playoff clash will be assured.
Today, the puck will drop at 1 p.m. The Sunday rematch will start at 8:45 a.m.
The Cougars -- on a six-game winning streak and unbeaten in 10 -- currently have a 28-7-1 record. The Royals sit at 11-18-7.
When the teams last met, in November in Victoria, the Cats skated to a pair of 7-0 victories.
Individually, Logan Styler is one of the hottest Cougars right now. In his past four games, he has piled up 15 points and now has 22 goals and 51 points in 34 games the season.
Liam Blackburn, one of Styler's linemates, has also been on a tear. He has fired hat tricks in three of his past five games and needs one more goal to set a new team record. He heads into today's clash with the Royals with 29 goals and 73 points in 36 games.
Earlier this week, Blackburn committed to play for the BCHL's West Kelowna Warriors next season. Also this week, Cariboo defenceman Stephen Penner agreed to join the BCHL's Nanaimo Clippers in 2013-14. The six-foot-five, 195-pound Penner has six goals and 25 points in 34 games with the Cougars.
Cariboo captain Ryan Forbes is also in the Clippers' organization.