A masked man almost stole a playoff victory from the Cariboo Cougars.
Friday afternoon at the Coliseum, the Cougars outshot the South Island Royals 53-19 in Game 1 of a best-of-three quarterfinal series but, instead of blowing out their opponent, recorded a tension-filled 4-3 victory. The tying and winning goals for the Cats came in the last four minutes when they finally squeezed a couple pucks past South Island goaltender Jesse Jenks, who was brilliant between the pipes.
Game 2 of the B.C. Hockey Major Midget League series goes today at 1 p.m. at the Coliseum. The first order of business for the Cougars will be to create more traffic in front of the six-foot-two, 180-pound Jenks, who looked even bigger than that to Cariboo shooters in Friday's opener.
"He made the difference in the game," said Cougars head coach Trevor Sprague. "Jesse Jenks did a great job. He has come a long ways this year and played well against us today."
The Cougars led 1-0 after the first period but the Royals had a 3-2 advantage after the second. With Jenks seemingly unbeatable, they stayed in front until the 16:08 mark of the third period when Cariboo defenceman Stephen Penner hammered home a slap shot while skating down the right boards. Then, at 17:22, while Thomas Sercombe of the Royals was serving a delay of game penalty, Penner let go with another blast and Liam Blackburn scored on the rebound. Blackburn's marker stood up as the winner.
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