Cougars Rally Comes Up One Goal Short


The Cariboo Cougars came up one goal short at the Telus Cup.
Needing a win in their final round robin game against the Mississauga Rebels, the Cougars could only muster up 2-2 a tie despite a flurry of chances in the final minutes.
Ty Kolle, back in the lineup after missing the last two games, scored both goals for the Cougars and was named the player of the game.
The tie leaves the Cougars with a 1-2-2 record, a point out of the final playoff spot.
Patrick Sebben, Evan Benwell scored for the Rebels, who finish the round robin in first with a 3-1-1 record and will play Cape Breton West in the semis. The other semifinal feature Regina versus St. Francois.
Marcus Allen made 14 saves for the Cougars, including a few huge ones at the end of the game to keep the score tied and the Cougars in striking distance.
Christian Purboo, making his fifth straight start, was outstanding in net for the Rebels with 34 games and player of the game honours.
Down 2-0 heading into the third, the Cougars had a tough hill to climb in the final 20 minutes. But they were up to the challenge.
At 12:56, Kolle stepped out from the corner and fired a shot on the short-side over Purboo’s shoulder to get the Cougars within one.
He evened the score at 8:59 of the third with another laser, this one from the high slot.
Cariboo pressed for a go ahead goal – Kolle with a drop pass to Daine Dubois was one good opportunity, Riley Krane off a blocked shot and counterattack was another, but Purboo kept the rest of them out sending the Cougars home and Cape Breton to the semis.
The Cougars got the start they wanted in all ways but the score. A fast, aggressive and disciplined Cariboo team generated chances, pressured the Rebels and held the territorial edge.
But the Cougars didn’t score and Mississauga did, putting the hosts in a hole early against the tournament’s top team with the top goalie.
The Rebels scored first at 12:56 when Sebben’s low point shot hit a body and both posts before kerplinking into the net. His blue-line partner Calder Lund got the lone assist.
The Rebels added to their advantage at 16:15 when Quentin Degano found Evan Benwell on the back door play. Benwell cut in front of the net and slid the puck past Allen.
So the Cougars, who out shot the Rebels 15-6, found themselves behind on the scoreboard.
The Cougars were unable to close the gap in the second, despite some excellent opportunities. A scrambling Purboo somehow stopped Mason Richey on the edge of the crease. He followed that up with a pair of outstanding stops off Tyler Maser at the side of the net.
The semifinals are 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The bronze medal game is Sunday at 11 a.m. and the final is 3 p.m.