Cougars tie, lose in two-game series with Braves

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The Craig Cougar's Pee Wee team hosted the Steamboat Braves Saturday for two hockey games at the Loudy-Simpson Ice Arena.

The last time these teams met in Steamboat, they split games with the Braves. The Cougars won the first game 4-3, and the Cougars took the second 3-2.

In the first game of the series, the Cougars put their first point on the board when center Tyler Menge beat the Braves' goaltender at the 8:15 point. Menge's goal was assisted by Brice Boling.

The Braves came back, scoring a goal at the 2:30 mark. With 45 seconds left in the period, the Cougars answered right back when Justin Hegwer hit he puck into the Braves' twine. The Braves played hard until the whistle blew, adding a goal with two seconds left in the period and sending the teams into the second period at two goals apiece.

The Braves broke the tie at the 10:53 mark of the second period. The Cougars' Bo Boatright tied the game again 47 seconds later, and the game looked like it was going to go down to the wire.

The Braves scored again late in the second period at the 3:25 mark, but the Cougars were not about to give up. Going into the final period down by one goal, the Cougars' Schuyler Hammond beat the Braves' goalie to tie the game 4-4. In spite of a good effort by both teams, the game ended in a 4-4 tie.

During the game, the Braves made 20 shots on goal, and the Cougars amde 18 shots.

Game two was not the close game spectators were expecting. The Braves scored 45 seconds after the opening face-off, and it was all Braves from that point on.

The Braves added three more goals in the first period, holding the Cougars scoreless and taking a four-goal advantage into the second period.

During the second period, the Braves netted one goal, while continuing to shut out the Cougars. The Cougars, down but not out, continued to play hard and finally scored. At the 9:56 point, Brandon Seick sent one past the Braves' goaltender to cut into the Braves' lead. The Braves answered right back at the 6:17 mark and again at the 1:55 point.

The Cougars added a goal at the 1:01 point when defenseman Jacob Pearson lit the lamp. But it was too little too late. The Braves added an empty-netter with three seconds left in the game to make the final score 8-2.

By the end of the game, the Cougars had made 20 shots on goal while the Braves had 23 shots on goal.

The Cougars' next game is Dec. 30 at Loudy-Simpson Ice Arena against the Oak Creek Kodiaks. Admission is free.

(Jim Wood is a Craig Youth Hockey Association coach.)

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