It was First Shift Night at the Arch and the Cougars played well from the first shift on.
Owen Sikkes didn’t give the Buccaneers any second chances in a stellar performance for his second shutout in 6 games. The Cougars helped out by committee with all the forwards coming back to help with a smothering team defence.
In the first the Cougars took a 1-0 lead at 7:03 when Tyler Vanuden deposited the puck behind Nanimo starter Austin Dendl assisted by Spencer Golden and Ryan Okino. Dendl had just made a great reaction save off of one of his defencemens skates but couldn’t stop Vanuden. There were numerous other chances at both ends but the tenders were solid. Cougars outshot the Bucs 15-10.
In the second both teams traded chances but it was again the Cougars who prevailed. Kevan McBean had the puck on the boards and fed a beauty pass to the stick of newly acquired Cameron LeSergent in the slot. Dendl stopped his point blank shot but Matt Berryman was right there to put the rebound in the back of the net at 14:40 for a 2 goal lead. Cougars outshot their foe 13-8 that period.
In the third it was all Cougars. Cougars captain Carl Ewert took the puck down the left wing and cut towards the net letting go a hard shot that Dendl stopped but swooping in was Foster Martin to roof the puck high blocker side at 1:11 to open up a 3-0 lead. The second assist went to the Cougars netminder Sikkes for his first point of the season. The Cougars continued to buzz the Nanaimo net and tempers flared after Buc player Braydon Nelson crosschecked his former teammate Owen Dalman and a fight ensued. Both players hit the showers early @ 2:56 of the period and the Cougars went on the powerplay. There was no more scoring until the Booker Chacalias show started at 6:44. He made a sick deke on Dendl and deposited the puck behind the sprawling goalie. Assisting on the goal were Jack Hanrahan and Bryce Irwin. Then at 12:02 Booker was at it again with another nifty move to beat the Nanaimo goalie. Assisting this time were Foster Martin and McBean. Nanaimo was frustrated throughout as every time they had a chance their shot was either blocked by a defender or smothered by Sikkes.
Game stars were – Owen Sikkes and Austin Dendl.
This is the second game in a row that the Cougars have played a complete team game and boy is it fun to watch.
Come out next Thursday at 7pm at the Arch as the Cougars take on Division rival the Kerry Park Islanders.
Tonight the Cougars travel out the Peninsula to the Panorama leisure centre to take on the Panthers. Game time is 7:30Follow the Cougars on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram.