Smithers’ Brendan Moore and Riley Coish are playing with the big boys now.
The duo will be on the starting roster with the Cariboo Cougars this season in the B.C. Major Midget League.
“It feels really good. Everybody knows that we have a good team this year and there are really high expectations. It feels really good to be part of such a good group,” said Moore who plays centre with the team.
Coish echoed Moore’s anticipation to get back on the ice again.
“I’m excited to get the season going and see where the team can go this year,” said Coish.
Moore played 14 games at the end of last season with the Cougars registering one goal, two assists and six penalty minutes.
“I have a lot more confidence going into this year, I feel a lot more comfortable because I’ve already played in the league and I know I’m capable of playing in the league and hopefully excelling this year,” said Moore, who used to play with the Smithers Storm minor hockey team.
This year, the 16-year-old hopes to contribute to the team in more ways than one.
“If they need energy, then I’ll bring energy. If they need points, hopefully, I can put up some points on the board for them too and whatever role the coach wants me to play, that’s what I’m going to do to help the team.”
He also wants to improve his on-ice decision making, moving the puck quickly and adjusting to the fast pace of playing in the BCMML.
For 16-year-old Coish, who also played minor hockey with the storm, he hopes to make the most out of the new season.
“I’m playing more of a depth role this year, so I want to play my role and do the job that I need to be doing,” said the right-winger.
Coish said it has been easy to get along with his new teammates and develop on-ice chemistry since the team began practicing in early September.
“It’s been a pretty easy transition because I knew most of the guys before because we’ve played each other in the past and I’ve known them for a couple of years,” said Coish.
Bryan MacLean, co-head coach with the Cougars, said both have similar playing styles.
“The big thing with Brendan is that he finished the season with us last year and his ability to skate and he’s physical certainly is something that set him apart and he’s taken on a little bit of a leadership role in the dressing room as well,” said MacLean.
“Riley is a fairly similar player to Brendan. He plays the whole rink, strong in his own end and a strong skater, not afraid to get physical. They’re both really good kids. They do everything the right way,” he added.
Trevor Sprague, general manager and head coach, added Moore and Coish are good defensive players as well.
“A lot of our offence comes from what we do defensively and both these guys bring that attribute,” he said. “They’re great guys, Smithers minor hockey should be proud of these [two] gentlemen and what they’ve been able to accomplish. It’s been a long time since we’ve had guys out of Smithers and to have [two] is pretty special.”