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Cougars show their stuff in early season action

September 17, 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Jeff Doner
The Schomberg Cougars Jr. C hockey team is looking to take a big step ahead this season and have started on a positive note.
It all started with a strong pre-season tournament, where the team dominated the competition throughout the round robin. They then followed that up with a valiant home opener against the Alliston Hornets on Thursday and a convincing win against the Midland on Friday.
New head coach Jim Egerton has put his stamp on this year’s version of the team and is hoping his players pick up his system quickly.
“Right now, with new faces, new bodies – we just picked up some new kids – we’re starting with some basic systems,” he said. “Our style, we’ve definitely got a fast team, I don’t know if we have a big physical team up front, but we definitely have some speed and I think we’ll be using that to our advantage. Our defencemen have excellent shots from the point, so I think basically getting on them in their end with some speed, which we didn’t do in the first period and getting pucks to the net.”
In their home opener against the reigning league champion Alliston Hornets on Thursday, the Cougars’ speed and finesse became more and more evident as the game wore on.
“I thought we were a little nervous at the beginning of the game,” said coach Egerton. “We’ve got a lot of new faces and some first-time Jr. C players, so I think nerves were kind of there and the veterans were a little nervous being that we played Alliston in the home opener, but I think as the game went on we got some composure and started playing a little better.”
Ewart definitely kept his team in the game to start, stopping 14 shots in the first period alone and keeping his net closed until his team found their feet.
The game remained scoreless until mid-way through the second period, when David Leblanc gave the Hornets a 1-0 lead.
At the start of the third, the crowd was hushed when Cougar Cameron McKnight was taken hard into the boards head first. McKnight remained on the ice for several minutes until being taken off by stretcher.
Hornet Ben Skuce was given a checking from behind major and game misconduct on the play.
The Cougars had powerplay opportunities to get back into the game, but were unable to bury the tying goal. Alliston added an empty netter to take the 2-0 win, with Tyler Brindle earning the shutout for the Hornets.
Egerton said his team had their chances and was overall pleased with his team’s compete level. He also praised the Cougars’ netminder for his play.
“Taylor played into the semi-final of the tournament he played really well, so we thought we’d give him the start being the vet goalie at home,” he said. “I thought he played really well and kept us in the game, gave us a chance to win, especially in the first period we were kind of stuck in the mud there for a bit. Him making those saves gave us a shot in the game and we had our chances.”
The veteran Ewart was also glad to shake off the rust and get a solid start under his belt.
“It felt pretty good,” he said post-game. “Last season we lost 8 – 0 to Alliston in the first game of the season, so it wasn’t a bad loss today, we played with them the whole game, so it felt really good actually.”

Cougars down Flyers

The very next night the Cougars took to the road hungry for their first win of the season and they didn’t disappoint, coming up with a strong 9-2 rout of the Midland Flyers.
Taylor Garett got the start in goal for the Cougars and solidified the win stopping 23 of Midland’s 25 shots.
The offence exploded for the Cougars, with JP Crescenzi and Bronson Smith each potting two goals.
Kiefer McIntosh, Chris Wilson, Ryley Egerton, Blake Culley and Derek Neilly scored one each.
Seven of their nine goals were scored in the second period in which Schomberg barraged Midland goalie Marco Colangelo with 23 shots.
The Cougars will now return home for their game on Thursday night at 8:30 against the Stayner Siskins with a 1-1 mark on the season.
Ewart said this year’s version of the Cougars is looking good and should be able to do some damage.
“We’ve got almost a clean slate with maybe seven or eight vets. But we’ve got a lot of skill this year, so we’re hoping to do some damage, that’s for sure,” he said. “We’re quick, feisty and we used to be a bigger team with some older guys, now we’re younger and faster with a better skill level. I think we’re going to be able to take that next step for sure.”
For stats, schedules and more information on the Cougars, visit www.schombergcougars.com or to follow love game updates visit their page on Pointstreak.
The Cougars are also looking for volunteers to help out with game day and practice day duties. For more information contact Nicki Sellers at schombergcougars@post.com.

         

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