Sometimes I hate being right.
As advertised, the Fury's top line is extremely dangerous and the Cougars would learn this the hard way in a 3-2 loss last night.
Cobourg dominated the majority of what was a clean first period, holding a wide margin in the shots department throughout the frame. However, an ill-timed giveaway at the Cougars' blue line with less than ten seconds remaining in the first allowed Kris Faric to walk in on Azzano and score his first goal of the evening. This momentary lapse in the dying seconds of the first carried over into the second as the Fury quickly scored in the first minute of the second period - again with Faric as the goal scorer.
Cobourg would find some life in the second on the power play. With Whitby's Taylor Law in the box, steady defenceman Lawton McCracken went top shelf with a nice wrister from the point, cutting the deficit to a single tally with half a game left to play. Azzano made a number of impressive glove saves to keep the score close until the middle of the third frame.
Nine minutes into the third the Cougars' Eric McDermott and Whitby's Sean Davey dropped the gloves at center ice. Inexplicably, Davey clung to the back of McDermott's helmet during the initial stages of the bout but the young Cougar managed get free and landed a few solid right hooks before the pugilists fell to the ice. The spirited bout injected some much needed energy into the Cobourg bench, which seemed rather complacent for most of the match up to that point. Not long after the fight, Adam Place would respond by finding the back of Whitby's net, knotting the score at two.
Unfortunately, Whitby's big guns were too much to handle. Less than three minutes after Place's goal yet another defensive collapse in the Cougars' end, this time in the corner to Azzano's right, led to Kris Faric's third goal of the night, which would stand as the eventual game winner.
Despite this game being the Cougars' fourth straight loss after winning three in a row to start the season there were some positives. The pairing of McCracken and Herrington was solid all night and Matt Diminie played an energetic brand of hockey all night, forcing turnovers and creating a few odd-man rushes for the Cougars with his quick passes up the ice. Azzano made some spectacular saves and it should be noted that the first and third goals were scored by Kris Faric, a highly skilled player, all alone in front of the net. If not for the last ten seconds of the first period and first thirty seconds of the second period this might have been a hard fought 2-1 victory.
The Cougars will try to get that elusive fourth win of the season on the road in Wellington next Sunday (October 4th); no easy task to be sure but there will be no love lost between the two squads as they've taken both of their previous matches to a shootout.
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