Despite two late goals against and a slew of penalties and ejections, the Cariboo Cougars hung on for the 3-2 win over the North Island Silvertips earning the season series sweep.
Braiden Epp scored his team leading 22nd of the season midway through the first, shorthanded, beating Silvertips starting goaltender Liam Young. Logan Styler gave the Cougars a 2-0 lead with five minutes to go in the first from Epp and Liam Blackburn.
Brad Morrison scored his 12th of the year late in the second as the Cougars took a 3-0 lead into the final period.
After allowing 38 shots against Saturday, the Cats did a much better job limiting chances in their own end as the Silvertips managed 19 shots through the first 40 minutes.
Entering the game short one forward, the Cougars ended up down two early in the second as Eli Jarvis was handed a checking from behind penalty along with an automatic game misconduct. The Cats had serious penalty troubles through the first two periods which only got worse in the final 20 as Kenny Nordstrom was also assessed a checking from behind penalty and ejected from the game. Stephen Penner was then handed a weak five minute major and game misconduct for boarding midway through the third.
North Island defenceman David Biagioni then took exception to Tyler Povelofskie driving to the net, attacking him, knocking off his helmet and throwing punches. Povelofskie defended himself as both were given five minute fighting majors and game misconducts with Biagioni given a two minute instigating minor.
The Silvertips scored twice in just over a minute to come to within one with five minutes left in the third. The Tips had a final minute goal waived off as the Cats hung on for the win and improve to 21-7 on the season, two points behind second place Okanagan and eight back of the NW Giants.
Jeremy Matte earned his seventh win of the season in net stopping 27 shots. Epp had a three point game factoring in on all Cougar goals while Blackburn had a pair of assists and is now just three helpers away from tying the team record for assists in a single season currently held by Seb Lloyd.
The Cougars are on the road the next two weekends starting with the BCMML All Star Showcase next weekend. Six Cougars will be featured in the All Star game itself in defencemen Stephen Penner and Nick Headrick, forwards Blackburn, Epp, and Ryan Forbes, and goaltender Nathan Warren. The Cats then face the Greater Vancouver Canadians for a crucial pair of games Saturday and Sunday. The Cougars are then off to Nelson to take on the Kootenay Ice the following weekend.