Monday, December 21, 2009

(Quick) Dukes Pre-Gamer

The Wellington Dukes roll into town tonight for the last time this season.  Well, regular season anyways.  The way the standings are shaping up it's looking like the Cougars will face the Dukes if they can grab that last playoff spot.  More on that later...

The Dukes are playing a  solid season, sitting atop the Eastern Division for almost the entire season.  They've done this on the strength of consistent special teams (7th ranked PK and PP) and rock solid defensive play.

Dukes Fun Facts: (Well, fun if you're a fan of the Dukes)
- Only one (1) Duke has a minus rating on the season
- Jordan Ruby might as well be a brick wall (1.99 GAA, .940 SV%)
- They have earned 19 of a possible 32 points on the road (Compared to Cobourg's 7 of a possible 38...)

A frustrating string of close losses on the road has put a severe damper on the Cougars' playoff hopes and each addition to the L column is only making life more difficult for the Cougars down the stretch.  Winning home games is a virtual necessity for the Cougars if they want to stay in the race, particularly against Divisional opponents.

And finally, don't forget to scroll down and post some ideas for the Cougars!  I have received some great ideas already that I will post in a few days.  Go ahead!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cougars' Christmas Fan Forum

Eight more sleeps people - Better get on that shopping!

In the spirit of Christmas, and specifically giving, I thought it would be a good idea to give the fans an opportunity to give us their ideas.  So I strongly encourage anybody reading this who has ever said "The Cougars need to *fill in the blank*" or "I'd go to a Cougars game if *fill in the blank*" or "I've always wondered if the Cougars *fill in the blank*" to scroll down and *fill in the blank* in the comments section.  All comments can be posted anonymously so there's no need to fear any retribution.  I only ask that everybody keeps the discussion rational, reasonable and constructive.  I will delete comments that don't make a meaningful contribution to the discussion to make sure that this is a welcoming and positive experience for everybody involved.  That doesn't mean you can't be critical - The Cougars are having a pretty rough season after all - just keep things in the Christmas Spirit.

The Cougars are in a transitional period right now.  New ownership with local connections has taken over the team, there is a new rink on the way, and the team is looking for ways to get the fans really involved in the team and to make the Cougars "Cobourg's Team".  And what better way to reach the fans than to ask for their own opinions?  Team management is very eager to give the community what they want to see and I guarantee that your comments will be seen by the coaches, management and ownership.  So please, if you have any ideas, comments or questions post them below!

Don't be shy!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Right Place, Right Time

Remember my idea to have the Cougars play a low scoring game against Dixie last night?  Yeah, not so much.  The Cougars would overcome some sieve-like goaltending in the first and second periods to overcome a 6-3 deficit to start the third period and win 7-6.

Adam Place scored a hat trick, the third being the eventual game winner, to power the Cougars to a dramatic come from behind victory.  After giving up a 3-2 lead early in the second by allowing four straight goals (on eight shots...) the Cougars potted four straight even strength goals in the third.  As usual, the players did their best to give everybody in the stands a serious case of heart failure throughout the contest.  Thoroughly exciting as always!

It should also be noted that Matt Diminie has been recognized by the CCHL as the East Division Player of the Month for November!  His nine goals and eleven assists in 12 games were tops in the division and good enough to earn him the distinction.  It's nice to have a hometown boy, on a hometown team earn such a noteworthy honour.  Congrats Matt! (Story here.)

Pssst, if you want some free tickets to a Cougars home game click "comment" below and leave a message about the Cougars with your e-mail address so I can contact you.  I will remove the e-mail address from the message if you wish.  I'm trying to stimulate some discussion here!  Let me know what you think about the Cougars, the new rink, music between whistles etc.  Anything!  The team wants to know what you think!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Whistlin' Dixie

No, I'm not talking about this guy.  I'm talking about tonight's game against the Dixie Beehives from the Western division.  The Beehives come into Cobourg for the only time this season sporting a 5-3-1-24 record, good for 20th in the league of 21 teams.

That said, the Cougars should not be taking this game lightly.  They have allowed an average of just under 5 goals per game over their last 6 so instead of playing their usually variety of barnstorming home games, they should take this opportunity against a seemingly beatable opponent to really clamp down and keep things relaxed in their own end.  Heck, I think they should try to win their first 2-goal game of the year!  (Still 10-0 in those.)

Loparco, Demetrius and Gialedakis are the forwards to watch out for tonight but the Cougars really should be able to shut this team down and earn a low-scoring win tonight.

Then again, if I were a betting man (which I'm not) I would definitely take the over on tonight's score.

And now for a quasi-political rant:


Remember him?  He was an integral part of this Cobourg team back in early November when the offense was really hitting its stride.  He has missed the last 12 games or so as a member of the Kitchener Rangers, which is fantastic.  The goal of this league is to provide young players with the experience and skills necessary to climb the hockey ranks.  However, Mr. Morris has been stuck at 9 GP for a while now.  Is he hurt?  Nope.  Suspended?  No again.  Missing?? Still no.

I'm no expert on the intricacies of inter-league player exchanges but I would hazard a guess that a 10th game would require some sort of financial arrangement between the Cougars and Rangers.  The Cougars would be sad to see Branden go, but happy to see him playing in the OHL, and I'm sure Branden would be thrilled to be given that opportunity.  Wasting away in the press box deprives Branden of valuable development and the Cougars of a valuable defenceman.  The Rangers need to make a decision.

Hopefully this is resolved soon, to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quick Stouffville Pre-Game

The Cougars are off to the friendly confines of the "Stouffville Arena" tonight.  Their road record (3-1-0-11) has been disastrous this season and it is high time they started to win games away from home ice.

There's no better team to face in that regard than Stouffville as Cobourg is a perfect 3 for 3 against them this season.  Hopefully they can keep this trend going tonight!

One more thing.  This blog is currently 2 hits away from 1000 total hits!  So, if you are reading this there's a chance that you are that hit.  To celebrate I am going to give two tickets free tickets to the first person to make a comment in the space below.  Just include your e-mail or phone number so I can contact you.  The tickets can be used at any home game from now until the end of the regular season.

**Important** All comments are moderated so your comment will not show up right away.  Even if there are no comments at the bottom, somebody might have posted already.  I will remove your contact information before I post the comment if you request it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Rollercoaster Affair

Well last night's game was entertaining.  In typical Cougars home game fashion the score was altogether too high on both sides.  Through 17 home games this year in the Cobourg Memorial Arena the opposing teams combined for nine or more goals on a ridiculous 13 occasions.  In fact, the lowest totals were in 3-2 losses to Seguin and Durham.  Maybe the nets are a little bigger in Cobourg?  In any case, you're virtually guaranteed to see a nail-biting affair at a Cougar's home game.

Despite taking a 5-2 lead early in the second period the Cougars let the lead slip away in the third and eventually lost 6-5 in a shootout to the Liflock Stars.  Through the three games these teams have played against each other thus far both have earned 4 points each and the games are usually pretty close.  They face each other one last time in Peterborough on Friday, January 22nd in a game that will hopefully have some playoff implications.  Road trip anybody?

Early in the second period it looked like the game was as good as over.  Brooks Behling scored a beauty from his knees in the faceoff circle and Place snuck one through the Cormier's 5-hole to score Cobourg's 3rd and 4th goals respectively.  When Couto scored on the PP to make it 5-2 it seemed like we had a rout on our hands but Peterborough buckled down and steadily chipped away at the lead.  Considering the Stars have a very limited supply of firepower the collapse was particularly vexing.

The Cougars have a busy week ahead, playing on Thursday in Stouffville and Friday in Lindsay.  Hopefully they can get some much needed points in those contests.  They face Dixie next Monday, the worst team in the entire CCHL so come prepared for another overwhelming onslaught of offense.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Peterborough Pre-Gamer

Hey Sports Fans!

After a flat 4-0 loss in Bowmanville yesterday, the Cougars have a chance for quick redemption at home against the Liftlock Stars.  The season series between Cobourg and Peterborough has been competitive, and rightly so as they are next to each other in the standings.  Look for both teams to play an energetic game as each side needs to gain some points now before they lose too much ground in the standings.

A quick look at the stats will bear out the fact that the Liftlock stars are absolutely bereft of a go-to guy up front.  Their leading scorer is Jeff Swift with 12 goals and 21 points.  In contrast, the Cougars have 7 players with 20 points or more, one being stalwart defenseman Lawton McCracken, and 4 players with at least 13 goals on the season.  There is no question that Cobourg holds the edge in goal-scoring ability.

This begs the question: How are the Stars 3 points ahead of the Cougars with 3 games in hand?

The Answer(s): Special teams, and two-goal games.

Peterborough's PK operates at an efficient 86%, good for 5th in the league. Cobourg's PK is a mediocre 79.6% although it has improved from a few weeks ago when they were hovering around 75%.

And yes, two-goal games have been Cobourg's Achilles' Heel all year long.  Weird, right?  Well, the Cougars sport a fantastically awful 0-10 record in games decided by 2 goals.  (Poinstreak posts the record as "0-0-0-10" despire the fact that it is impossible to get an extra point in a 2-goal game...)  Meanwhile Peterborough is a respectable 4-3 in similarly tallied tilts.  Is there any significance to this stat?  Not really.  But it sure is odd.

Anyways, come on out to arena tonight!  Same cat-time, same cat-channel! (With apologies to Adam West.)

Go Cougars!