It’s back to work this weekend for the Southwest Cougars who play their first game of 2019 Saturday in Souris against the Pembina Valley Hawks.
Southwest ended 2018 with a pair of losses to Brandon.
The Wheat Kings beat the Cougars 5-1 in Souris and 5-3 in Brandon before the start of the Christmas break.
"Definitely disappointed given the fact that we've been on a pretty good roll and we were so tight with Brandon in the standings and we still are,” said Southwest head coach Dennis McNish on their tough weekend against Wheat Kings. “Disappointed with the two losses, not really overly disappointed with how we played. Thought we could have won both games but that's just not the way it worked out and we'll try our best next time we play them."
Just 10 points separates the first place Winnipeg Wild and the sixth place Cougars.
"I think we've probably got to be the first 18-6-3 team that is in sixth place,” said coach McNish who watched his team reel off a seven-game winning streak from November 4th to December 1st. “That's a pretty good record for being in sixth. We're behind in games played so we're not too worried about being where we are in the standings. We're right in the mix with the top teams. We're playing well and we feel like we're contenders at the top of the league as are a handful of other teams. We're just going to worry about trying to get better, keep improving and move forward in the second half."
The Cougars have 21 games left, 10 of which are at home.
"I think our game is pretty well rounded and doesn't have any glaring holes,” McNish said. “We just need to get better in all areas to give ourselves a chance to accomplish what we would like to."