FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northeast BC/Yukon Trackers hosted the Prince George Tier 1 Midget Cougars for a pair of games this past weekend.
Coach David Johnston says that the team might not have done themselves any favours by choosing arguably the toughest opponent in the province this past weekend, but that the challenge did help to motivate the players.
Squaring off against the 2016 Tier 1 Midget provincial champions, the Trackers went into their first game Saturday afternoon with a sense of trepidation. Johnston says that 14 of the 19 players on the bench were playing in their first game at that level of hockey. Connor Bowie scored the lone goal just under 8 minutes into the first period for the Trackers, assisted by Aiden Craig-Steele and Jeridyn Loewen. The Trackers ultimately lost 5-1 in their first game on Saturday. Johnston says that though it took the better part of the game for the Trackers to get into step with the Cougars’ intensity. Despite this, he added that that the final 7 minutes of the game were the best part, and that the team didn’t give up at all.
On Sunday morning, Johnston says that the Trackers were by far the better team for the first forty minutes of play. After the Cougars went up 1-0 shortly after the 10-minute mark, Connor Bowie evened things up two and a half minutes later on a feed from Joel Bourgeois. Tied 1-1 after two periods, the Cougars managed to rattle off three quick goals in 4 minutes to make it a 4-1 final score.
According to Johnston, despite the losses, the coaching staff was incredibly pleased overall with the team’s performances this weekend. He says that all of the faults are things that can be fixed, and Sunday’s game in particular was a big morale booster. This week, the Trackers will be focusing on structure and play in the defensive zone ahead of another two games against the Midget Cougars in Prince George this coming weekend.