Saturday, October 2, 2010

Coats for Kids & Fire Prevention Night

Hey folks,

This coming Monday night is Fire Prevention Night, brought to you by the Cougars and the Cobourg Fire Department.  At 6pm there will be two fire trucks outside of the arena for kids to take a look at and explore with the firefighters so definitely show up early to check it out!

Kids in attendance will also receive 2 Cougars player cards from the full set of 24 that will be released this season.  So if you're looking to get a full set of hockey cards this Monday is a great time to start.

Also, any child or student under 18 who brings a winter coat, boots, or snow suit to the game for the Coats for Kids campaign will receive free admission to the game!  Local businessman Rod Baker has been heavily involved in the campaign for 16 years and he will help Sparky the Dog from the fire department and 'Coug' (everybody's favourite mascot!) drop the puck for the game.

Coats for Kids is a truly wonderful effort that seeks to ensure that local children have proper winter clothing for the cold months of the year.  The Cougars are ecstatic to be involved in the campaign this year and we know how generous Cobourgites can be so we can't wait to see the flood of coats, jackets and boots on Monday!

See you at 6 and Go Cougars!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fantastic Start!

Hey Cougar Fans!

As the year goes on and this blogger finds some more time in his schedule you can expect more frequent updates here. (Which will always be announced on the Twitter feed - which you should follow! Right now!!)

The Cougars beat the Peterborough Liftlock Stars by a score of 5-3 last night but I can't get at the stats so I will post about that game next time. (Sorry!)  But I can talk about the first 5 games of the season...

The first three home dates of the season have been tremendous for the Cougars with wins in every contest and great attendance from their local supporters.  The importance of having fans in the building simply cannot be exaggerated - the players love playing in front of passionate local fans!

The three wins are easily explained by the 20-3 margin by which the Cougars outscored their opponents -  a solid display that they hope will continue when they go on the road next as they dropped their first two contests on unfriendly ice to open the season.

This hot start is vaguely reminiscent of last season when the Cougars opened up with three straight wins to open the season only to find themselves in an 11 game tailspin soon thereafter.  However, the atmosphere around the team and the way that they're winning the games gives some indication that we can expect much better things from this group.

Five games is a relatively small sample size but we've already seen that the goals against are down from last season and Cadieux has looked solid in every contest.  Goaltending was frequently the Cougars' Achilles Heel last season so it will be nice if Cadieux can establish some consistency and net and give the revamped defense corps some confidence.

Overall, I think it's safe to say that this team is much improved from last season and we can look forward to a very successful year - sadly our last in the Cobourg Memorial Arena.

Keep an eye on this blog, the twitter feed, the facebook page, and the electronic newsletter, which you can sign up for on the website for al the Cougars info you can handle.  Bookmark everything! You won't regret it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Home Opener!!

Hey Cougar Fans!!
The boys are back in town and you can catch them at their home opener on September 13th and the Cobourg Memorial Arena!  
Doors open at 6:30, game starts at 7pm, and you can also catch the Brighton Legion Highlanders, the Cobourg Legion Pipe Band and the Port Hope Legion Pipe Band during the game - that's right, three pipe bands at one game!
Come out and watch the first game of the Cougars' last season in the venerable old barn.
Don't forget to check out the website, this blog, the new Facebook page, and the Twitter account for all of the Cougars info you can stand!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Last Home Game - Lindsay Muskies

Happy Monday,
   Tonight is the very last home game for the Cobourg Cougars.  The Lindsay Muskies will bring their playoff aspirations into the Cobourg Memorial Arena along with Brandon Couto and Matt Diminie.

   Since the big trade Couto has 7 points and a +4 rating in 8 games but Diminie has struggled, by his standards, with only 3 points and a -4 rating over the same stretch.  Unlike Adam Place I think their elbows remain unbruised so we should be able to watch them play in the barn one last time.

   Behling, Sandercock and Thompson have been red hot lately so they'll be looking to get the Cougars their 11th home win of the season to finish up with a respectable 11-1-4-9  home record.  If you want to know why they're going to miss the playoffs look no further than their ghastly 5-1-2-16 road record.  Even if they win their final game of the season on the road it will still only be good for 15 of a possible 48 points in road games.  Simply not good enough.

   Come on out and watch the last game in what just might be the Cougars' last full season in the old Memorial Arena.  If all goes according to plan the Cougars will be playing their last games of the 2010-11 season in the brand new rink on D'arcy street.  See you there!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No Place At Home (Bowmanville 4, Cobourg 2)

Sorry, that's the best I could do.

Former Cougar, Adam Place did not suit up for the Eagles last night so he missed his opportunity to play in front of the home crowd he started the year with.  Reportedly, he missed the game with a bruised elbow.  Poor devil.

Scott Sandercock, a player who came back in the Place deal, did manage to have a good night against his former club, earning a goal and an assist in the game.  Sandercock just towers above everybody on the ice with an imposing 6'5" 235 pound frame - and he's only 18 years old!

When a team scores the first and last goal of a game there's usually a good chance that they'll get the win but that just wasn't the case for the Cougars last night.  Bowmanville would score four unanswered goals after Cobourg's opening tally and they just couldn't climb out of that hole.

The Cougars failed to get a win but they did get their money's worth for the officials last night.  All told, last night's officiating crew called a total of 36 infractions, resulting in 20 individual penalties served and a whopping 69 minutes in penalties.  Perhaps they purchased new whistles for the playoffs and wanted to break them in.  Needless to say, coaches on both sides of the ice were beside themselves.

Despite this onslaught of officiating there were only two powerplay goals scored during the entire game.  Weird stuff!

Cobourg was officially elminated from playoff contention with the loss and their next game will be at home to the Lindsay Muskies, who just might bring Matt Diminie and Brandon Couto along for the trip.  Come on out for the last home game of the year!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bowmanville Pre-game

Hey folks!  I've been away for a few weeks due to being busy and a wonky Cougars home schedule but I'm back for the home stretch.

The Cougars welcome the Bowmanville Eagles to town tonight and will face Adam Place for the first time since he was traded away a few weeks ago.  Bowmanville is having a very strong finish to the season and have won five straight heading into tonight's contest - Adam place has 6 points, including two shorthanded goals, during the winning streak.

Cobourg has also played some good hockey lately, picking up 7 points of a possible 10 in their past five games.  The new top line of Stefan Thompson, Brooks Behling and James Diminie has been lighting it up with 10 goals over that stretch.  Even the energetic Brad Down has been putting points on the board with 4 points in the past five games.

Now that the 16 and 17 year olds are getting some more ice time, this is a good chance to come out and have a look at the young core that should help the Cougars to climb the standings in the coming seasons.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Big Changes!

Sorry for the leave of absence - I've had some important educational matters to contend with...

Plenty has changed in the past week in the Cougars dressing room!  Gone are the team's top three scorers, Matt Diminie, Brandon Couto and Adam Place in exchange for younger players and cash considerations.

The window of opportunity to make the playoffs had closed itself by the new year and it made sense for the team to maximize the value of their assets.  All three departing players are twenty years old and will have their Junior A eligibility expire before next season begins so anything the Cougars received out of these deals that they can use going forward is a definite step in the right direction for this club.

There is still a young core in place on this club and goal scoring was not the issue this season.  Goaltending and special teams, or more specifically Special Teams +/- ([PPG For + SHG For] - [PPG Against + SHG Against]), were the biggest hurdles for this year's Cougars.  If they can bring in a top-flight goaltender and a stud defenseman or two to go along with McCracken and Morris (He's back by the way! Thanks Kitchener!) they will be in pretty good shape for the 2010-2011 season - one that they could potentially finish out in the town's brand new rink!!

The team still maintains control of Stefan Thompson, Dylan McMahon and James Diminie who can all light the lamp and will need to do so with a little more regularity in the absence of the team's core offensive players for the season.

They began their post-deadline stretch with a bang on Monday, beating the Markham Waxers (still probably my favourite team name in the CCHL) by a score of 6 - 5 in a typical Cobourg Cougars barn-burning home game.

Scott Sandercock, one of the team's newest players acquired in the deal with Bowmanville for Adam Place, registered a goal and three points on the night.  He could be a very valuable part of this team's power play moving forward with his mammoth 6'5" - 235 pound frame.  Good luck to all of the 17 year old defensemen trying to push him out of the crease!

The last stretch of home games should be a fun watch as plenty of young players will get a chance to prove their mettle and they will definitely be playing a rather energetic brand of hockey.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Solid Win

The Cougars played a very pleasing brand of hockey tonight, beating the Eastern Division leading Bowmanville Eagles by a score of 3-2.  The Cougars had plenty of opportunities to pack it in and resign themselves to losing to a team that would be considered the superior team on most nights by most people.  However, they scoffed at these opportunities, forechecked like animals and buried their chances when they presented themselves.

Bowmanville opened the scoring on their first shot of the game, usually a harbinger of a rough game. But Matt Kaludis steadied his nerves and played what was perhaps one of his best games of the entire season en route to a 29 save performance, making sixteen of them in the third frame.  In fact, the Eagles scored their 2nd goal on what was probably (don't quote me) their final shot of the game as they potted one with their goalie pulled in the final minute of the game.

Fun Fact: Bierworth, Bowmanville's goalie tonight, is a Cobourg boy AND Assistant Coach Brad Whelan's cousin.  Small world!

The plucky Cougars increased their point total by 10% tonight (from 20 to 22) but their playoff hopes are on life support.  I'll do the math in another post but I can tell you it's not impossible, just nearing the realm of improbable.  The key is to beat good teams (like Wellington, Burlington and Bowmanville) while beating teams that are near you in the standings.  Sigh....

Even if the Cougars miss the playoffs (italics still necessary) there are a whole pile of good things to take out of this season, the foremost being scholarship and advancement opportunities for the players.  That's another thing to be covered in a future post but it's something that the team takes very seriously.

Hope you were lucky enough to enjoy the game live tonight!  Seeya next time.

Happy New Year!

Hey folks, hope everybody had a safe and happy holiday season.  I've taken a little holiday from the Blog but there will be regular updates from now until the end of the season.  I've also noticed that some of you have been leaving comments, which is great!  Rest assured that all of the feedback we receive will find its way up to the highest echelons of the Cougars' management.

Since the big 5-2 home win over the Dukes on December 21st it's been fairly quiet but the team has played two games since.  Both were uncharacteristically low-scoring games and both were tough losses as the goalies they faced combined to stop 54 of the 56 shots launched at them by the Cougars, good for a .964 SV%.  (Or a .036 shooting percentage for the Cougars if you're a glass-half-empty kind of person.)  It's far too late in the season to play your best hockey against the best teams only to take your foot off the gas against opponents playing .500 hockey

A very tough opponent comes to town tonight in the Bowmanville Eagles.  The Eagles' record of 21-3-3-9 is nearly a mirror image of the Cougars' 11-2-4-23 mark.  Like most of the other top teams in the CCHL Bowmanville has amassed their wins through solid goaltending and special teams (9th ranked PP at 19.4%, 2nd ranked PK at 87.3%), things the Cougars have struggled to maintain consistency with this season.

Statistically the Cougars have been a decent team this season.  Not a great team, but certainly not as bad as their record might indicate.  They're 6th in goals for (156) and right around the middle of the pack in PP% (16.1, 14th) and PK% (80.7, 15th).  Goals against (166) have been an issue but there are still six other teams worse than them in that category.  In fact, their team +/- of -10 is much better than Ajax (-27), St. Mikes (-23) and North York (-24) who are all ahead of Cobourg in the standings.  It boils down to the fact that the Cougars lose too many close games and win their share of laughers.  It also doesn't help that they're 0-5 against those three teams...

See you at the game tonight!