COUGARS ROLL PAST COBRAS, CLINCH SEMIFINAL SPOT AT RBC CUP
JASON LA ROSE
COBOURG, Ont. – Spencer Roberts scored twice and added two assists to lead the offence, and help the Cobourg Cougars to a 6-1 win over the Cobras de Terrebonne in the nightcap Tuesday at the 2017 RBC Cup.
With the three points, the Cougars are assured a place in the semifinals on Saturday, and they’ll face the unbeaten Brooks Bandits for first place in the preliminary-round finale on Thursday night (7:30 p.m. ET).
Theo Lewis added a pair of goals for Cobourg, while Josh Maguire and Jesse Baird had one each.
Knowing a win would lock up a final-four spot the Cougars had a dream start, taking a 2-0 lead by the time the clock hit the two-minute mark.
Roberts was first just 22 seconds in, jamming a puck by Terrebonne goaltender Jérémy Bélisle, and captain Maguire doubled the advantage 1:38 later, going post and in past Bélisle from the low slot.
The Cougars controlled the play for much of the opening period, holding the high-powered Cobras offence to just six shots in the first 20 minutes.
The East Region champions flipped the script in the second, outshooting Cobourg 14-6, but couldn’t find a way past Cougars netminder Stefano Durante, who finished with 24 saves in the win.
Roberts extended the lead against the flow of play, knocking a backhand past Bélisle with just under four minutes to go in the middle frame and sending the hosts to the dressing room with a 3-0 lead.
The Cougars failed to capitalize on an extended five-on-three power play to start the third period, but continued to hold the Terrebonne offence at bay, allowing just five shots in the final stanza.
Lewis, who is finishing up his fifth and final season with the Cougars, swatted in a loose puck with 5:59 left to add a little bit more insurance, before Éric Léger went end to end to beat Durante, get the Cobras on the board and ruin the shutout bid at 15:43.
Baird got some help from a Terrebonne defenceman to get his point shot across the goal-line at 18:34, and Lewis stuffed in a wraparound 20 seconds after that to finish the scoring in a penalty-filled third period.
The Cobras, who were held to less than two goals in a game for just the third time all season, and the first time since Dec. 4, will finish their preliminary-round schedule Thursday against the Penticton Vees (3:30 p.m. ET).