BENSENVILLE, Ill.- In a clash of divisional rivals that had the Edge Ice Arena buzzing with anticipation, the Chicago Cougars Premier unit skated to a 3-1 victory over the Decatur Blaze on Wednesday.
The Cougars came out firing on all cylinders in the first period, dominating in shots on goal with a staggering 19 attempts to Decatur's 5. The offensive onslaught paid off at the 15:28 mark when Cooper Brackett found the back of the net, assisted by Gerdas Paulauskas and Kevin Hanly.
The second period saw the Blaze responding with determination, and at 12:13, Connor Weiskerger managed to even the score with assistance from Everett King and Connor Wilson.
As the tension mounted in the final period, the Cougars seized control. Dante Zaffarano broke the tie at 10:27, securing a 2-1 lead with assists from Alexander Musyakevych and Gerdas Paulauskas. The insurance goal came at 12:02 courtesy of Frank Kula, assisted by Gerdas Paulauskas and JT Gollinger.
The game was not only a showcase of offensive plays but also featured a parade to the penalty box. Both teams were aggressive, resulting in a combined 26 penalty minutes. The Cougars' penalty kill unit, led by goaltender Sam Burcal, stood strong, denying all six power-play opportunities for the Blaze.
Speaking of goaltending, Burcal put on a stellar performance, making 26 saves on 27 shots. On the opposite end, Wyatt Gottschall faced a barrage of 47 shots from the Cougars, managing to turn away 44.
The game displayed the Cougars' resilience and ability to capitalize on opportunities, solidifying their position in the division. The win extends their recent success against the Blaze, marking the third victory in their last four matchups.
As the Cougars celebrate this well-earned victory, they will harness this momentum as they look ahead to the next challenges in their quest for divisional dominance. The roar of the Cougar faithful echoed through the arena, a fitting soundtrack to another memorable night of Chicago Cougars hockey.
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