Cariboo Cats continue learning curve

Consistency.

That's what Cariboo Cougars head coach and general manager Trevor Sprague is preaching to his troops this week.

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The Cougars have returned from Richmond and the B.C. Hockey Major Midget League Showcase, where they went 1-1 against the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs.

The Cougars edged the Chiefs 2-1 in their first game Saturday but lost 3-1 in Sunday's rematch.

After four games, the Cougars are 1-2-1. They opened the season at home on Sept. 12-13 with a tie and a loss against the Valley West Hawks.

"It's an improvement from the week before," said Sprague. "We outshot them both games. But we're trying to find consistency in our game. We play a good speed game, but we're playing soft. We're stick-checking instead of playing the body. We have to have more consistency.

"That's what you will find with a young team who are not seasoned to play in our league yet. The 16-year-olds have to understand they have to play a more physical game."

Cougars second-year netminder Dorrin Luding earned the 2-1 win between the pipes, while Aaron Jakubowski stopped 15 of 18 shots in the 3-1 loss.

The Cats are one of the youngest teams in the league with only four 17-year-olds.

The Cougars will try to turn things around this weekend when they take on the Greater Vancouver Canadians (3-1) Saturday (7:15 p.m.) and Sunday (8:15 a.m.) at Kin 1.

The Canadians are regularly one of the top teams in the league.

"That's what I like - to play them right off the bat," said Sprague. "We expect two wins."

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