Rockets Strike First to Take Series Lead

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Jeff Sargeant

March 15, 2013, Prince George, BC (ISN) – Two goals against in the opening four minutes had the Cariboo Cougars playing catchup the entire game as the Okanagan Rockets held on for a 4-3 win to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three BC Major Midget League semi-final.

The Rockets opened scoring just 2:51 into the opening period as Graham Millar put a rebound past Nathan Warren. Then just over a minute later Josh Blanchard made it a 2-0 Okanagan lead. The quick start for the visitors seemed to wake up the Cougars who then dominated play for the remainder of the period yet remained in a two goal deficit despite outshooting the Rockets 12-9 through 20 minutes.

The second period was a complete reversal as Braiden Epp got the Cougars on the board 2:47 into the frame while Logan Styler got the equalizer just 29 seconds later from Liam Blackburn and Stephen Penner.

The Rockets re-took the lead early in the third before Blackburn slid one five-hole past Rockets goaltender Brenden Mills to tie the game at three. But with just under five minutes on the clock Spencer Hewson was credited with the eventual game winner which went into the Cougar net on a strange bounce.

The Cougars finished the game 0/3 on the power play while killing off all four penalties. Nathan Warren took his first playoff loss in net.

The Cougars face their first do-or-die scenario of the post-season heading into game 2 Saturday at 1 o’clock at CN Centre.