It looked like the Cougars were set to finish off the regular season with a win but a break down in discipline in the third period cost the Cougars the game.
At 13:27 of the first period Booker Chacalias took a nice feed from AP Jude Wessel and put it behind Kerry Park Islander starter Rett Rook. The second assist went to Mateo Albinati. Play went back and forth all period long and late in the period Cougars D-man Jack Hanrahan took a holding penalty and with 2 seconds left in the period it was none other than Evan Easton on the PP who put the puck past Cougars net minder Cam Stevenson. Assists went to Tory McClintick and Logan Furkalo.
In the second period the Cougars came out flying and at 2:16 of the period it was Matt Berryman who found the back of the net from Grady Birk and Cameron LeSergent. The teams traded penalties and at 16:12 Avery Webb of the Islanders took a 4 minute penalty for Slew Footing. On the second half of the penalty Booker Chacalias took a nice feed while charging into the slot and gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead. Assists went to LeSergent and Foster Martin. Late in the period Islander Arsh Dhillon took a High Sticking penalty but in the same stoppage Grady Birk who was having a great game took a 10 minute Misconduct for colourful comments to the Islanders net minder Rook with the linesman standing right there.
The third started with the Cougars holding a 3-1 lead but they seemed to lose grip on their discipline. At :58 Ryan Okino took a Roughing penalty which the Cougars killed off. At 4:38 the Islanders pulled within one when Dawson Blanchette took a point shot that Stevenson got his pad on and the rebound went right to Brandon McClintick who fired the puck in the net. That was the only even strength goal the Islanders would get.
The teams traded penalties after that and at 8:50 Hanrahan got tied up with an Islander in the Cougars zone and the Ref had his arm in the air for a roughing call but when the two separated Jack gave him an extra shot which connected on the helmet and he ended up with 2 for rough and a 5 for hit to the head along with a game misconduct. The Cougars were holding the Islanders at bay until 10:09 when Jaden McNulty took a boarding penalty and this is when the wheels fell off for the Cougars. With an extended 5 on 3 the Islanders scored early and often. At 10:33 Riley Windsor scored from Captain Romaeo D’Intinio and Webb. This cancelled out Jack’s minor which still had the Islanders on a 5-3 PP. At 12:13 it was Tory McClintick from Easton and Dhillon. Then on 5-4 at 14:11 it was Isaac Leik from Brandon McClintick. Finally at 14:48 Cole Amado scored from Leik. The shell shocked Cougars weren’t able to mount any sort of come back after that and settled for a 6-3 loss giving up 5 power play goals. 4 in the final period.
The Cougars now wait to see who they will face in the first round of the playoffs. First game is likely next Thursday February 28th at the Arch. Right now it’s the Westshore Wolves who are in 7th spot but they are only 2 points back of the Oceanside Generals who have 1 game remaining to the Wolves 2. We’ll have to wait a couple of days to see how that all plays out.
To all the Fans, Billet Families and Cougars Volunteers a big thank you for your support through this long regular season. You’ve got a week until we hit the ice again for the Second Season where all the games have a huge impact. See you next Thursday!
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