Cougars Ground Rockets in Season Series Win

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Jeff Sargeant

February 3, 2013, Prince George, BC (ISN) – The Cougars extend their unbeaten treak to eight games and move six points ahead of the Rockets for second place in the BC Major Midget League.

The Cariboo Cougars earned a huge two points Sunday with an 8-4 win over the Okanagan Rockets for the weekend sweep and season series win over their rivals from Kelowna.

It was only a matter of time for Cougar forward Liam Blackburn to set a new team record for points in a single season as he finished Saturday’s game tied with Brett Bulmer’s mark of 63 points. But it took only 35 seconds for Blackburn to set a new benchmark as he deked out Rockets netminder Brenden Mills for the early 1-0 lead, the first of three goals in the game for the Prince George forward. Logan Styler made it a 2-0 Cougars lead six minutes later from Jordan Low and Stephen Penner. Just as it looked like the Cats would take a 2-0 lead into the intermission for the second straight game, the Rockets scored on the power play with just 46 seconds left in the frame to cut the Cats lead in half.

The second period was a wild one with the Cougars restoring the lead at the 2:34 mark as Blackburn scored his fourth shorthanded goal in the last three games. But just 18 seconds later the Rockets answered back. Braiden Epp scored his 25th from Styler at the 5:17 mark to go up by two while Eli Jarvis converted on the power play to make it a 5-2 Cougar lead midway through the second. Brett Mennear scored his first of two in the period to make it a 5-3 game, shorthanded with eight minutes on the clock. Styler then got his second of the game with just over a minute remaining before Mennear cut the lead to two with 3.5 seconds left in the period.

Despite putting 30 shots on the Cougar net in the third period, the Rockets were unable to get anything by Nathan Warren with Penner adding his second of the weekend on the power play early in the frame and Blackburn getting his second hattrick in the last three games with 29 seconds on the clock for the dominant win.

Warren stopped 50 shots for his 17th win of the season as the Cats improve to 26-7-1. Blackburn had a four point game and now has 67 points on the season while Styler also had a four point effort. Penner had a goal and two helpers as he continues to climb up the defencemen scoring ranks.

The Cougars head back on the road next weekend to face the Thompson Blazers in Kamloops Saturday and Sunday.