The Cougars played a very pleasing brand of hockey tonight, beating the Eastern Division leading Bowmanville Eagles by a score of 3-2. The Cougars had plenty of opportunities to pack it in and resign themselves to losing to a team that would be considered the superior team on most nights by most people. However, they scoffed at these opportunities, forechecked like animals and buried their chances when they presented themselves.
Bowmanville opened the scoring on their first shot of the game, usually a harbinger of a rough game. But Matt Kaludis steadied his nerves and played what was perhaps one of his best games of the entire season en route to a 29 save performance, making sixteen of them in the third frame. In fact, the Eagles scored their 2nd goal on what was probably (don't quote me) their final shot of the game as they potted one with their goalie pulled in the final minute of the game.
Fun Fact: Bierworth, Bowmanville's goalie tonight, is a Cobourg boy AND Assistant Coach Brad Whelan's cousin. Small world!
The plucky Cougars increased their point total by 10% tonight (from 20 to 22) but their playoff hopes are on life support. I'll do the math in another post but I can tell you it's not impossible, just nearing the realm of improbable. The key is to beat good teams (like Wellington, Burlington and Bowmanville) while beating teams that are near you in the standings. Sigh....
Even if the Cougars miss the playoffs (italics still necessary) there are a whole pile of good things to take out of this season, the foremost being scholarship and advancement opportunities for the players. That's another thing to be covered in a future post but it's something that the team takes very seriously.
Hope you were lucky enough to enjoy the game live tonight! Seeya next time.