The Southwest Cougars travelled to Winnipeg for a pair of games on the weekend earning a pair of 5-4 wins – improving to 21-7-2-2 for 46 points and fifth place after 32 games.
The Cougars owned the puck for the first 10 minutes of the game but failed to find the net while the Winnipeg Bruins jumped out to a two goal first period lead, using their speed to open the scoring.
The Cougars went on a power play early in the second and Hunter Andrew hooked up with Cory King and Tyson Kozak to get the Cats on the board. Five minutes later the Cougars scored with a man advantage when Cody Gudnason took a feed from King and Andrew to even the score. The Bruins took the lead back less than two minutes later, dominating the scoreboard.
The Cougars evened the score at 3-3, four minutes into the third when Callum Fortin hooked up with Andrew and Kozak. Brayden Clark then scored his second goal of the game a minute later to give the Bruins the lead. With three minutes left in regulation, Kozak evened the score, converting a pass from Fortin to send the game to extra time.
In overtime, with 3 on 3, the Bruins and the Cougars both had chances in the early going. King gave the Cougars the win when he one-timed a pass from Andrew.
Andrew had a four-point game, Kozak returned to the lineup and had a three-point night. Caden Wilson had a 30-save performance. The Cougars fired 29 shots at Nikulas Jerris in the Bruins cage.
Sunday afternoon at the Iceplex the Winnipeg Wild and the Cougars faced off for the third time this season. The first period saw the Wild take the lead 11 minutes into the game, firing seven shots at Randy Cooke. Brett Murphy turned aside six Cougars shots.
The Wild grabbed a two-goal lead 42 seconds into the second. Kozak stole the puck at the Wild blue line on a penalty kill and couldn’t be caught, getting the Cougars on the board at 9:44. The Wild regained the lead three minutes later as the Cougars tried to stay in the game. Austin Clyne fired a screen shot at the Wild net with just over three minutes left in the second, Grady Lane picking up the helper as the Wild had a 10-9 shot advantage.
Nineteen seconds into the third, Andrew fed Kozak at full speed and he blew by the Wild defense to even the score. Austin Clyne banged in his second of the game from Tanner Clyne and Landon Roberts at 2:46 for the lead. Fortin one-timed a Kozak pass 11 seconds later with King in on the goal.
The three Cougars goals in the first few minutes of play sent Wild’s Brett Murphy to the shower. They took a time-out and put in Carson Cherepak who finished the game with eight saves. The Wild scored at the eight-minute mark but the Cougars continued to pour it on outshooting the Wild 12-8 in the final frame for the win.
Randy Cooke faced 25 shots in the Cougar net in another big win for him. The Cougars fired 27 on the Wild net.
The Cougars face off with the Kenora Thistles on Friday, the Winnipeg Wild will visit the Cougars Sunday afternoon in Souris.