Now A Best Of Three

The Cougars seem to be in “bounce back” mode a lot in this series. Poor performance in game 1 and 3, outstanding performance in game 2 and 4.

For the fourth game in a row the Buccaneers took a penalty almost immediately. 9 seconds into the game this time. While the Cougars could not convert this chance, they did on their next one. Trey Watson took his first of several penalties only seconds after the Bucs killed off the first penalty. Marshall Brown potted his first goal of the night at 2:54 of the first. He collected his second of the game at the other end of the period, also on the power play.

The second period was more of the same. A parade to the box. Only this time the Cougars were in the box just as much. The referees had lots to do as both teams spent just as much time beating each other up as playing actual hockey.

One thing the Cougars couldn’t do in round 1 was score on the power play, in round 2 it’s score even strength. With a majority of goals coming with the man-advantage the Cougars needed to tighten up their 5 on 5 play. Another thing the Cougars couldn’t do in round 1, was have Tyler Vanuden score at all. Vanuden has been snake bit after missing a few games with injury.

The Cougars seemed to fix both of those problems. Two even strength goals from Ryan Okino and Tyler Vanuden saw the Cougars leading 4-0 after 2.

The third period was a mess. In game 3 the Buccaneers took advantage of plenty of Cougars mistakes to score 4 unanswered goals and steal a win. In game 4 the Cougars kept their cool and it sent the Bucs over the edge. Penalty after penalty almost all entirely unforced and unnecessary eventually led to a frustrated team taking worse and worse penalties. Four Nanaimo players and two coaches got tossed before it was all said and done.

Marshall Brown completed the hattrick on the power play to put the Cougars up 5-0. With most of the hot heads from Nanaimo taking early showers the Bucs actually settled down and played decent hockey for the last half of the third. Billy Walters broke the shutout bid for Sikkes.

It wasn’t enough. The Cougars took game 4 5-1 and tied the series at 2. Game 5 is Thursday at the Arch, 7pm.

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