President Pocock Reflects on Cougars Season
Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George Cougars finished 7th overall in the WHL’s Western Conference this season and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Victoria Royals.
“You know, on a general note, we’re extremely happy with how the season went,” says Pocock. “We feel that we did achieve most of what we set out to achieve (making the playoffs) and I think we did so in a very big way.”
He says the year included a series of highlights including the Cougars first win in Portland, their first home win, their first win in Kelowna, and certainly making the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
But that’s not all.
“I think our ALS fundraising night (in honour of Shelly Mrkonjic) was a night the people of Prince George will talk about for a long time.”
However Pocock doesn’t deny improvements will be necessary moving forward, in particular when it comes to the teams’ weak performance on special teams.
“It’s something we’ve already been addressing with our coaching staff and our GM. We’re not going to sit back and just go status quo year over year. There are going to be changes and improvements and our goal is to be a championship team and we know we’ve got work cut out to get there.”
Is he pleased the average attendance reached 2,852 fans per game from just under 1,700 the season before?
“The attendance fell within the parameters of what we projected we’d be achieving so to a large degree I think that aspect of it would be a success,” says Pocock. “We were the poster child of the turnaround of attendance for the Canadian Hockey League. We out performed 59 other teams across Canada and are being held as an example of ways to achieve what we did. So we have to take satisfaction from that.”
He says another improvement the Cougars achieved was their standing in the community.
“I think we put credibility back into the Prince George Cougars and we became a destination team for players coming into our league and we became a team that people have taken note of,” says Pocock. “And I can assure you that next year we are going to go deeper in the playoffs and it’s going to be a lot more fun next year as well.”