A five-game losing streak is almost as rare as sightings of Halley's Comet for the Cariboo Cougars, but it's the situation the B.C. Major Midget League club is dealing with as they travel to Chase this weekend for a two-game series against the Thompson Blazers.
On the positive side, a couple of games against the winless Blazers (0-6-2) may be just what the doctor ordered for a struggling hockey club. The Cougars (3-5) find themselves in unfamiliar territory these days - having fallen into eighth in the 11-team league.
Cougars head coach Bryan MacLean said his team cannot take the Blazers for granted, recalling they were a hardworking team when the Cougars played them during exhibition action last month. But, MacLean added it's imperative his team snaps out of its funk before falling too far behind the league-leading Valley West Hawks (8-2).
"We can't give up any points this weekend, looking at where we're at in the standings," said MacLean.
The Cougars have struggled to score goals, with only 24 in eight games, but, MacLean said the team has generated scoring opportunities, so it's just a matter of capitalizing on them. The 24 goals is the third lowest total in the league, with only the Blazers and Kootenay Ice having scored less with 15 apiece.
Thompson will be without its top goaltender Bailey De Palma (0-5-1) this weekend. The 16-year-old was called up by the BCHL's Prince George Spruce Kings to replace Jesse Jenks, who is attending Team Canada West junior A challenge tryouts in Calgary this week.
Jesse Roach leads the Cougars in scoring with four goals and nine points, while Bryan Allbee has five goals and eight points.
Last season, the Cougars swept the four-game series with the Blazers.
Saturday the Blazers and Cougars meet up at the Chase Art Holding Memorial Arena at 6 p.m., followed by a Sunday matinee starting at 11 a.m.