Cougar Comeback Earns Series Lead

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Jeff Sargeant

March 8, 2013, Prince George, BC (ISN) –  The Cariboo Cougars gave their hometown fans a scare but a pair of goals in the final four minutes of the third period earned a 4-3 come from behind win to take a 1-0 series lead over the South Island Royals in the best-of-three quarterfinal series.

Goaltending was the story Friday with Royals starter Jesse Jenks playing spectacular stopping 50 shots as the Cats outshot South Island 53-19 in front of a noisy crowd of 450 fans at the Prince George Coliseum.

Special teams was also key for both clubs with five of the game’s seven goals scored on the power play.

Braiden Epp opened scoring midway through the first on the man advantage from Liam Blackburn and Logan Styler to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission in a period that saw the Cougars outshoot the visitors 21-5.

The Royals responded early in the second with a power play goal of their own from Nick Kean to tie the game at one. The Cats re-took the lead 2-1 with Epp’s second of the game, also on the power play at the 6:51 mark. The Royals replied once again just three and a half minutes later to tie the game at two with another power play goal before taking their first lead of the game just 23 seconds later with Kean’s second.

Despite peppering Jenks with shots, the Cougars could not find the back of the net until Stephen Penner stepped into one from near the top of the faceoff circle to tie the game at three with just under four minutes on the clock. Then just over a minute later Blackburn got the game winner from Penner and Styler.

The Cougars went 3/7 on the power play while allowing three power play goals against on five opportunities for the Royals.

Nathan Warren earnd his first Major Midget League playoff win as the Cats look for the series sweep of the Royals Saturday afternoon at 1:00pm at the Coliseum.