September 23, 2012, Prince George, B.C. — The Cariboo Cougars opened the BCMML regular season with a 4-2 win over the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds Saturday at CN Centre.
A pair of Liam Blackburn goals bookended the game for the Cats who will look for the weekend sweep of the T-Birds Sunday morning.
After a scoreless, rather sloppy first by both teams, Blackburn scored the Cougars first goal of the season 2:27 into the second period from Braiden Epp. The Thunderbirds responded on the power play two minutes later with captain Landyn Hickmott getting credit for the goal.
The Cats got a power play goal of their own at the 7:58 mark of the second thanks to a Kenny Nordstrom wristshot. Cougar captain Ryan Forbes popped one in a yawning cage seven minutes later to give the Cats their first two goal lead of the game. But Fraser Valley cut the lead to one just over a minute later with Kolby Steen’s first of the year.
Logan Styler was awarded a penalty shot midway through the second but was stopped by Fraser Valley goaltender Zach Dyment.
Blackburn restored the two-goal lead 6:42 into the third. The Cougars dominated play in the third period but Dyment refused to let another one by him. The Cats outshot the T-Birds 30-13. Nathan Warren picked up the win in net.
Cariboo went 1/5 on the power play while killing off 9 of 10 penalties including a double minor in the third period.
Seven different Cougars found the scoresheet with Styler getting a pair of assists.
Puckdrop for Sunday’s rematch is set for 10:00am at CN Centre.