After the way the Cougars played last night at home I was expecting them to dominate play against the Peninsula Panthers. That wasn’t the case in the first period out at the Panorama Leisure Centre tonight. The Panthers kept the Cougars hemmed into their own end for most of the first half of the opening period. The first goal coming at the 9:01 mark of the period with Riley Braun out muscling a Cougars defenceman to drive across the crease and put the puck behind Cougars starter Cam Stevenson. Assists went to Tanner Wort and Josh Lingard. At 12:20 of the first Cougar defenceman Dylan Jessa took a nasty blindside hit to the head away from the puck so unfortunately the ref didn’t see it. His Cougar linemates did and all hell broke loose. When the dust settled 4 Cougars and 4 Panthers were assessed with 2 minute roughing and 10 minute misconducts and Jayden McNulty ended up with 2 minutes for X-checking. Jessa had to leave the game and Peninsula went on the Power Play. This night the Cougars special teams would prevail.
There was no more scoring until 19:04 when Booker Chacalias would take the puck to the net and while falling put the puck past Panther starter Connor McKillop. The period would end 1-1 with the Panthers outshooting the Cougars 18-10.
In the 2nd period things would turn around for the Cougars. The Cougars scored fast and often. First it was Tyler Vanuden from Kevan McBean at 2:38. Then at 7:42 on the PP it was Bryce Irwin’s turn to bury the puck from Foster Martin and Spencer Golden. Just over a minute later at 8:48 Grady Birk put in the puck from Ryan Okino. At 10:12 Chacalias got his second of the game from Irwin and that chased McKillop from the net. He was replaced by Chris Akerman. 38 seconds later while on the PP it was Cameron LeSergent’s turn from Chacalias and Marshall Brown. Peninsula rounded out the scoring for the period with a nice goal by Riley Braun taking a slap shot that beat Stevenson high glove side ringing in off the top corner. Assisting was Alex Benger. Aside form the goals there were numerous penalties including a fight between Jaden McNulty and Scott Arbuckle at 14:32.
With about 2 Minutes left in the period one of the linesmen was nailed in the back of the helmet with a shot cleared into the Panthers zone. He was down on the ice for a few minutes and had to leave the game. The ref and remaining linesman went to a 2 ref system to allow each of them to call penalties and offsides/icings.
The teams traded goals in the third with the Cougars McBean scoring bar down at 5:25 from Carl Ewert and Chacalias. Final goal went to Thomas Spink from Carson Cox at 17:28 while the teams were 4 on 4.
A pretty ugly game due to all the penalties. You can tell that these two teams don’t like each other.
Game stars were Riley Braun for Peninsula and Kevan McBean for the Cougars.
Next game for the Cougars is Thursday December 6th at 7pm at the Arch against the Kerry Park Islanders.Follow the Cougars on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram.