By Jeff Sargeant
January 27, 2013, Nelson, BC (ISN) – Seven different Cats found the back of the net Saturday in a record setting game for Liam Blackburn who with an assist on Logan Styler’s first period goal set a new team record for helpers in a single season with 38 beating Seb Lloyd’s previous record set in 2010-11.
The Cariboo Cougars scored six first period goals en route to an 8-2 drubbing of the Kootenay Ice in Nelson.
Thane Anderson also had a memorable game scoring his first goal as a Cariboo Cougar early in the first to put the Cats up 1-0. Braiden Epp scored his team leading 24th of the season just over a minute later to take a 2-0 lead. Styler and Tre Potskin scored a minute and a half apart midway through the frame to go up 4-0 before the Ice got one back at the 12:22 mark. Cougar captain Ryan Forbes blasted one past Adam Maida on the power play to restore the four goal lead while Eli Jarvis added another with less than a second on the clock as the Cats took a 6-1 lead into the second period.
Blackburn added his 18th of the year early in the second while Forbes scored his second of the game early in the third on the power play to put the Cats up 8-1. The Cougars penalty kill was working overtime but working effectively killing off eight penalties before the parade to the box cost the Cats late in the third when the Ice scored their second of the game on the man advantage with just 15 seconds left.
As the two teams left the benches for the traditional handshakes after the game, a bruhaha erupted with multiple simultaneous fights involving several players from each team. After all was sorted out, three Ice players and four Cougars were handed automatic one-game suspensions for fighting and/or game misconducts. As a result, Cougar forwards Jarvis, Potskin, Forbes, and Tyler Povelofskie will not be eligible to play in Sunday’s rematch with the Ice.
Jeremy Matte stopped 20 of 22 shots for his eighth win of the season. The Cats record now stands at 23-7-1 as the team remains in a tie with the Okanagan Rockets for second place in the BCMML.