The Cougars kicked off 2022 against the Kerry Park Islanders. This game is very important for both teams. Kerry Park is sniffing at the Wildcard spots for the Playoffs and the Panthers are nipping at the Cougars heels in the overall South Div standings. The Cougars do have games in hand, but they cannot be idle.
The opening period was fairly even through the majority of the frame. Up until Matt Baird took a penalty. Ben Brant opened the scoring late in the 1st on the power-play and started a bit of a flood of PP goals. Baird did manage to tie the game early in the 2nd period to redeem himself for the penalty he took. Ethan Roworth would get his 16th of the year to regain the lead 4 minutes later. That goal came on the power-play. Jaxon Danilec who just joined the Cougars from Kimberly made his presence felt very quickly. Collecting his 1st in the VIJHL on the power-play as well. Kirk Whittaker would add his own power-play goal to cut the lead to 1 again.
Several times in this contest both teams took penalties while already on the man-advantage negating their power-play. And it came back to bite the Cougars in the 3rd when the Islanders tied the game on the goal from Ty Nakatsu. Strom was in the box and the Cougars were on the power-play only for Roworth to take a Goalie Interference call. Nakatsu was able to capitalize on the 4on4 play. Trading penalties happened a few more times in the 3rd period but none were successful. Both teams also traded fantastic scoring chances only to be shown-up by the goaltenders. Demelo and Chambers both had good games for their respective teams.
With regulation not being enough we headed to overtime. After getting the puck caught in his skates on the Cougars attack Mateo Sjoberg went hard up the right wing and buried the puck to steal the 2 points from Victoria. The Cougars gave up 3 straight goals to the Islanders and took far too many penalties. With the Islanders coming to visit next Thursday I suspect Coach Coulter will have some words to say.
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