The Cougars struck first at 5:35 of the opening period. It was Brandon McClintick who beat Saanich goalie Robert Michetti when Desmond Arthurs wrap around attempt went through the crease and onto the sick of McClintick. A little later in the period the Braves took a bench minor and on the ensuing power play Bryce Irwin slid the puck over to Evan Easton on the right boards. Easton found Marshall Brown parked to the left of the Braves net and Browns shot went off Braves Brayden Flynn and floated over Michetti and into the top of the net for a 2-0 lead. At 14:35 the Braves got one back and a rain of Teddy Bears hit the ice. Avery Hargitt flipped a backhander from his own zone that Dayton Clark picked up at the Cougars blue line. Clark took the puck behind the net and backhanded it to Kyle Brown on the right side of the high slot and he made no mistake beating Cougars backstop Jonah Chambers to cut the lead to 1. 73 seconds later Spencer Golden fed the puck from the corner to Zach Guerra in the slot and he beat Michetti over his right shoulder. The period ended with the Cougars leading 3-1. Shots 15-10 in favour of the Cougars.
The Braves came out of the dressing room charged up and scored fast and furious. Just 18 seconds into the period Evan Abgrall hit Jake Wilhelm with a breakout pass and Wilhelm went into the Cougars zone and Cam Lesergent blocked his shot. The rebound went right to Clark who buried the puck in the back of the net. 48 seconds later Ryan Strange would pick up a loose puck and beat Chambers. The assist to Hargitt. Tie game. No more scoring until 10:48 when Hargitt would score on a dribber with the assist to Fraser Auchterlonie giving the Brave a 4-3 lead. 36 seconds later Hark Gill made a blue line pass to Jonathon Esposito whose point shot was stopped by Michetti but the rebound went to Evan Easton who made no mistake and tied the game at 4. 36 seconds after that goal Spencer Golden shot the puck down the left boards and Zach Guerra raced down the ice, took the puck behind the net and found Esposito in the slot and he rifled the puck past Michetti. 5-4 Cougars. 17 seconds later…yes another goal. This time Abgrall send an aerial pass out to centre where it was picked up by Jack Groves, he passed it to Graeme Getty who passed back and Groves beat Chambers to tie it up going into the dressing room after 2. Shots 18-10 in favour of the Braves. Near the end of the period Davis Frank and Michetti had some words that would seem to have an effect later in the game.
There was no scoring in the first half of the third although there were chances at both ends. After the media time out the Cougars would take the puck into the end boards where Bryce Irwin would get the puck loose and Frank took the puck to the net, out waited Michetti and slid the puck behind him for a 6-5 Cougar lead. After the goal on the way to the bench Frank seemed to say something back to Michetti. A few shifts later Michetti made a save and Frank was right there and made some comment which caused Michetti to come unglued. He slashed Frank and then ripped his helmet off and was throwing blockers. Off to the showers for Michetti with a 5 minute penalty for a Match. Michetti was replaced in net by Connor Svienson who stopped all 9 shots he faced in the balance of the game including a huge save off Golden point blank. With 1:32 remaining in the game the Braves pulled their goalie after a Cougars time out. 3 seconds later the Cougars won the faceoff and Bryce Irwin flipped the puck from his blue line into the empty net from Dawson Blanchette and Easton assisting. 7-5 Cougars final
Player of the Game Braves – Avery Hargitt Cougars – Jonathon Esposito
Last 2 games of the year are Wednesday the 18th at 7pm at The Q Centre against the Westshore Wolves then back to Pearkes for a replay on Friday the 20th 6:30 puck drop.
Cougars Alumni game and Cancer Fundraiser for Alumni Josh Wyatt is at the Arch at 7pm Thursday the 19th. Silent Auction with some great Xmas ideas so please come out and support this worthwhile cause.Follow the Cougars on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram.