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Jeff Sargeant

Coquitlam, B.C. — A late push from the Vancouver NE Chiefs Saturday afternoon wasn’t enough as the Cariboo Cougars hung on for the 5-4 win at Coquitlam’s Planet Ice.

The Cats went up to a quick 3-0 lead in the first period on goals from Michael Bell, Nathan Craft, and Raymond Grewal who scored on the power play midway through the opening frame. Tanner Fjellstrom scored 3:11 into the second to put the Cougars up 4-0.

The Chiefs finally got one by Cariboo goaltender David Readman at the 9:19 mark of the second thanks to Truman Gonzales. The Chiefs added another in the final minute of the middle frame to cut the Cougars’ lead to two. Hayden-James Berra scored his 12th of the season just over four minutes into the third to restore a three goal lead. But a Michael Willms tally three minutes later once again made it a two goal game.

The Cougars held off a Chiefs charge until Vancouver scored another with their net empty for the extra attacker with just eight seconds left, which turned out to be too little too late for the home team as the Cougars improve their record to 16-7-4.

The Cats went 1/6 on the power play while killing off their only two penalties of the game. The Cougars and Chiefs play in their final regular season meeting Sunday afternoon at 12:00 also at Planet Ice.