The Cougars went into Archie Browning Arena with plans to win their 10th in a row. The Predators had other ideas and did their best to ruin the Cougars plans.
Early in the game the Predators were pressing hard in the Cougars zone. Cougars starter Jonah Chambers made a save on a shot and the rebound went to Bryce Irwin in the high slot and he raced down the left wing. Cougars speed demon Spencer Golden got on his horse and raced down the middle of the ice to make it a 2 on 1. Irwin slid a nice pass over to Golden at the Predators blueline and Golden went in alone and beat Predators starter Andrew Palm for an early Cougars lead at the 49 second mark. The teams traded chances until 7:09 when Liam Hicks fed the puck to Colton Hutchison. Hutchison took a shot that was going high blocker and Chamber got a piece of it with the shaft of his stick but not enough as it tied the game. Later with the Cougars on the PP Irwin would pot one but it was immediately waved off as the net was off. That was a problem all night at both ends and would have implications at the end of the game. It was a back and forth affair with the first period ending 1-1.
The second period was more of the same. At 12:10 with Cam Lesergent in the box for Charging the Predators would take a lead. Joe Stafford-Veale from the point would feed Tyler Stinchcombe in the high slot who then fed the puck down front where Hutchinson quickly slipped the puck to Kyle Brown at the side of the net and made no mistake. A little later it was Zack Guerra deep in the Preds zone with 2 players on him was able to pass the puck back along the boards to Brandon McClintick. McClintick passed to Dylan Jessa at the point and Jessa took his time to find the right spot and sailed the puck through traffic into the back of the net at 14:30 for his first of the season and again the game was tied. That’s where it remained for the rest of the period.
The third started with again chances at both ends. With the Predators in the Cougars end Zack Guerra blocked a Stafford-Veale point shot and raced down the ice outwaiting Palm to give the Cougars a 3-2 lead at 4:50.
That lead would hold strong until late in the game. With the Predators pressing for the equalizer late in the game Chambers slid across and made the save which took the net off yet again. This time the Referee deemed it intentional and gave Chambers a delay-of-game penalty. Simon Pollock served the penalty. The Predators pulled their goalie for a 6 on 4 PP. The Cougars killed the first minute of the penalty before a faceoff to Chambers left. It was a scramble at the faceoff and the Predators Avery Hargitt took a shot from the top of the crease. Chamber covered it or so he thought. Hargitt took the puck behind the net for a wrap around and Chambers was unable to slide across in time. Tie game yet again. Each team scored 1 goal a period and we went to overtime. In the overtime Jessa passed the puck out from behind his net to Ryan Strange who took the puck down the right wing. He and Lesergent went down 2 on 2 and Strange went low blocker just over the pad to win the game and give the Cougars a 10 game winning streak and first place overall for the league.
Game start were Palm for Predators and Brandon McClintick for Cougars
That will be the last game for the Cougars for a while as all games are suspended until further notice due to restrictions from BC Hockey regarding Covid-19. Keep checking the VIJHL website for updates.