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Cougars get bogged down by foes; lose 3

January 28, 2014   ·   0 Comments

Alliston Hornets’ goalie makes a dive during their matchup with the Cougars last week. The Hornets won both games, back to back.
Photo by Jeff Doner
By Jeff Doner
The Schomberg Cougars Junior C hockey club faced a tough week, something that hasn’t happened often this season.
It started off with a big home and home series with the Alliston Hornets on Thursday and Friday night.
Thursday night’s game at the Trisan Centre was a good, hard-fought match in which the Cougars had plenty of chances to get ahead.
They carried the play early in the first period and even created some solid scoring chances, but the Hornets somewhat deflated the Cougars when they notched a power play goal at 12:45 to take a 1-0 lead.
JP Crescenzi scored a power play goal of his own with five minutes left. Christian Muenz and Arran Macdonald earned the assists.
After Colton Wood drove hard to the net, John Gage picked up a loose puck and roofed it over the Hornets’ goalie to give the Cougars a 2-1 lead again on the power play.
Wood and Blake Culley assisted on the goal.
However, the Hornets stormed back in the third and took advantage of some Cougar penalties to tie it up and eventually take the lead.
The tie-breaker was one that goalie Taylor Ewart had little chance on, as it deflected through traffic in front of him.
Down 3-2, the Cougars still pressed but just fell short of scoring the tying goal and suffered the loss.
“I felt like it could have gone either way,” Crescenzi said after the game. “We had some bounces where (Kiefer) McIntosh could have scored or we were on the net and it goes off Brindle’s blocker. If that goes in the net, it’s another one for us, but they had chances too and a 3-2 game is not bad. We did take some undisciplined penalties and maybe if we hadn’t, that would have changed the game.”

Hornets sting again

The next night up in Alliston, the Cougars again started off well. Gage scored an opening power play goal, assisted by Culley and Wood.
The Hornets stormed back in the second with four straight goals to take a commanding lead.
Ryley Egerton scored before the period was over to make it 4-2 and Christian Muenz made it interesting when he scored 41 seconds into the third period to pull the Cougars to within one, but the Hornets potted two goals to hand the Cougars a 6-2 loss.
“I think the game started to tilt when we started losing it on the bench and players started to get at each other,” Crescenzi said. “I think we let them get under our skin a bit and whenever a team starts getting negative towards one another and stop having fun, that’s when you start losing.”

Siskins over Cougars

Things didn’t get better for the Cougars on Sunday when they visited the Stayner Siskins.
The Siskins pounced early on the Cougars, tagging them for three unanswered goals in the first period. Gage scored for the Cougars in the second, but that was all the offence they could muster, while Stayner scored three more to send the Cougars packing with a 6-1 loss.
“I think they’re a little bit frustrated and I think we’ve had guys sick and some injuries and we’ve brought in some new guys too, so I think it’s just maybe throwing everything off a little bit,” said head coach Jim Egerton. “We’re just going to get back to basics tonight at practice and try to get ready for the playoffs. I think we got caught up in trying to catch Penetang and trying too hard.”
With only one game left to play in the regular season schedule, Egerton said it looks as though the Cougars will face the Caledon Golden Hawks in the first round of the playoffs.
“We’re in the playoffs, we’re in a good spot and we’re still going to get home ice in the first round, so we just need to focus on getting ready for the playoffs and not so much on where we’re going to end up,” he said.
“Until then the most important thing is getting back to doing what got us to where we’re at. It’s definitely been a great year for everybody and I told them that everybody has to be getting better every week.”
The Cougars will play their last game of the regular season at home on Thursday night when they host Orillia at 8:30 p.m.

         

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