Burnaby, B.C. — The Vancouver NW Giants have earned their fourth straight BCMML title and third straight against the Cariboo Cougars with a 4-1 win Friday and a 2-1 win Saturday to sweep the best of three series 2-0.
On Friday, the Cougars went up 1-0 midway through the first period on the power play when Nathan Craft put a rebound past Braden Krogfross.
The Giants tied it up midway through the second as the game remained tied after 40 minutes.
Vancouver got the go-ahead goal midway through the middle frame then little over 30 seconds later went up by two before scoring yet another about a minute later on the power play.
Cougar defenceman Colton Manning was ejected from the game following the Giants’ third goal after an apparent strike of an official and will miss Saturday’s game two. Later in the second Chase Astorino was also thrown out of the game for a check from behind and will also miss Saturday’s game since the penalty occured past the ten minute mark of the third. Craft was also ejected in the second period for a check from behind penalty.
The Cougars were outshot 29-28 with David Readman taking the loss in net for the Cats. Nathan Warren replaced Readman following the Giants fourth goal.
On Saturday, the two teams entered the second period scoreless before the Giants tallied twice to take a 2-0 lead into the final frame.
Late in the second, Cougars defenceman Josh Connolly was ejected after a check from behind penalty leaving the Cats with just 16 skaters already starting short with forward Chase Astorino serving a one-game match penalty for an erroneous late third period check from behind penalty Friday night.
The Cougars played one of their best periods of the year in the third Saturday with Brett Roulston finally beating Giants netminder Liam Smith midway through the period. Despite a strong push late in the period with several scoring chances the Giants were able to withstand the pressure holding on to the one goal lead to earn their fifth championship in six years.