December 27, 2012, Calgary, AB – The Cariboo Cougars scored four goals in each of the final two periods Thursday to overpower the Winnipeg Wild 8-1 in the Cats Mac’s tournament opener at Max Bell Centre.
The Cats outshot the Wild 34-29 as Nathan Warren made 28 saves in the Cougars first tournament opening win at the Mac’s in three years.
The score was knotted at zeros after the first period despite a barrage of Cougar shots and several good scoring chances, all denied by Wild goaltender Adam Vander Linden.
The Cats finally got one into the Wild net 2:34 into the second as Bryan Allbee made good on a Brad Morrison pass through the top of the crease.
Just 45 seconds later, Eli Jarvis wired a shot past Vander Linden for the 2-0 lead. Midway through the frame the Cougars took their first penalty as Tre Potskin was called for goaltender interference but early on the kill Kirk Hards scored on a shorthanded break to put the Cats up by three.
On their second power play of the ganme, Braiden Epp one-timed a Liam Blackburn pass to put the Cougars up 4-0 heading into the third.
The Wild responded early in the final frame as Shawn Pachet beat Warren just 29 seconds in, but that was all the offence Winnipeg could muster. Riley Pettitt pounced on a rebound with just over five minutes to go to re-establish the four goal lead. 57 seconds later Logan Styler blasted a slapshot on a breakaway to go up 6-1. Kirk Hards added his second of the game from Morrison and Thane Anderson and captain Ryan Forbes blasted the puck past Vander Linden with just over two minutes to go as the Cats scored four times in less than three minutes.
With three helpers, Morrison was named player of the game for the Cougars while Epp, Blackburn, and Hards all had two points.
The win puts the Cougars second in their pool behind the Edmonton SSAC Athletics who have already played twice recording wins in both. The Cougars next face the Calgary Northstars who are coming off a 4-1 loss to Edmonton Wednesday in their tournament opener. Puckdrop between the Cougars and Northstars is set for 2:30pm MT Friday at Max Bell Centre.