By Alex Gallacher
The Haliburton County Huskies found themselves in a similar position to their first round series against the Golden Hawks, as they dropped game one 5-3 to the Cobourg Cougars, Sunday, April 17 at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena.
Oliver Tarr got the game’s first goal with less than a minute remaining in the first period, sending the packed house into a frenzy. Taking a deficit into the dressing room, the Cougars mounted a charge in the second and third periods.
The second period saw a lot of back and forth action from both sides. The teams tossed around big hits like they were shots on net, and the extra-curricular post-whistle conduct picked up. The teams chipped and chirped at each other, but the Cougars would net the only goal of the game.
AJ Cook took advantage of a Sam Solarino penalty to tie the game 1-1, burying a centering pass over the shoulder of Cicigoi. The Huskies valiantly played out the rest of the period however, the Huskies were in for a world of pain in the third period.
In just over one minute, the Cougars scored three unanswered goals. Starting at 3:32, Devon Thibodeau beat a screened Cicigoi. Then, 43 seconds later, Zach Smith beat Cicigoi on an Adam Barone rebound. At 4:43, the Cougars added another with George Krotiris scoring on his own rebound, with a second effort.
The Huskies added two of their own as Patrick Saini buried a beautiful goal off a rebound from shot by Payton Schaly, while Schaly scored his own marker taking advantage of a rebound from a Isaac Sooklal shot. The Huskies pulled within one, but the Cougars got the last laugh. Team captain Tucker Firth managed to take advantage of his own rebound and score a nearly identical goal to that of Krotiris and Smith.
With the clock expiring, the Cougars claimed game one with a 5-3 win over the Huskies. The ramifications from the match will mean the game scheduled Monday, April 18 will be a do or die game for the Huskies. Since this story was published in the print edition of the Echo, the Huskies won 2-1, with an overtime goal by Sam Solarino.
Despite the playoff opener loss, the Huskies have a stellar record in Cobourg only having lost twice in the regular season. The Huskies host the Cougars tonight (April 20) in a winner take-all game at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena in Minden. Puck drops at 7 p.m.