ADDISON, Ill.- In a thrilling clash at the Addison Ice Arena, the Chicago Cougars Elite skated to a convincing 5-2 victory against their crosstown rivals, the Chicago Crush. The win not only showcased the Cougars' offensive prowess but also underlined their resilience in a hard-fought game.
The first period set the tone for a spirited matchup as both teams came out with intensity. The Chicago Crush struck first on the power play, with Joseph Coglianese burying the puck behind Cougars' goaltender Kole Wendt at 10:22. The Cougars answered back late in the period with a power-play goal of their own from Andrew Engstrom, assisted by Timothy Boyd and Rocco Bifano.
The second period saw the Cougars take control of the game. James Gudino wasted no time, finding the back of the net just 18 seconds into the period, giving the Cougars the lead. Rocco Bifano extended the advantage at 3:49, and Joshua Roman added another goal at 15:51. The Cougars' offensive onslaught showcased their scoring depth and left the Crush struggling to contain their skilled forwards.
Heading into the third period with a 4-1 lead, the Cougars continued to apply pressure. Engstrom netted his second goal of the night while shorthanded, putting the game out of reach for the Crush. Despite Cole Darlas scoring for the Crush on the power play, the Cougars sealed the victory with a final score of 5-2.
The game featured a flurry of penalties, with both teams spending significant time in the sin bin. However, the Cougars' penalty kill, operating at 88.78%, held strong against the Crush's power play.
Goaltender Kole Wendt stood tall between the pipes for the Cougars, turning away 23 of 25 shots. Wendt's stellar performance was crucial in securing the road victory.
The Cougars' top line, led by Andrew Engstrom, Rocco Bifano, and Joshua Roman, showcased their offensive talents, contributing to four of the team's five goals. Engstrom finished the game with two goals and an assist, while Bifano added a goal and two assists.
This victory marks a positive turn for the Chicago Cougars Elite as they look to gain momentum in the USPHL. The team's record now stands at 14-12-2-1, while the Chicago Crush holds a record of 20-9-0-3. The Cougars will carry the confidence from this win into their upcoming matchups as they strive for success in the current season.
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