Friday night at the Lindsay Rec Complex the Cobourg Cougars came to town to face the Muskies. In the end Dean Klomp had a four point game, and the Muskies scored late to earn their first trip to overtime, but they lost a hard fought 6-5 decision, but gained a point against a tough Cougars squad.
The game didn't get off to the start Lindsay had hoped for as Cobourg's Dylan Goddard snapped a shot over the glove of Luke Bierworth at 1:15, with the assists going to Brett Gilmour and Justin Danforth. At 4:11 the Cougars doubled their lead as Goddard slid one through the pads of Bierworth. Danforth picked up his second assist, of the period while Jake Flegel notched the other. The Muskies were able to kill off a Cobourg power play, and then looked to gain some momentum with a man advantage of their own. They did generate a few chances but Cobourg net minder Kienan Brown had all the answers. On their second power play the Muskies got it right. Just as John, the team bus driver for the Muskies told me, that new defenceman Zack MacArthur is going to be a good one, he scored his first as a Muskie on a wrist shot from the point at 15:33. The assists went to Joel Wetmore, and Dean Klomp. Just over two minutes later Wetmore scored his 11th of the season to tie the game up at 17:32. Klomp picked up his second assist of the period, and Vince Herlihey had the other. The Fish ended the period on another power play, but were not able to score. However after a terrible start the Muskies were full value for a 2-2 score at the end of the frame,having out shot Cobourg 15-8.
The Fish came out flying off the puck drop in the second as well. J.C. Campagna had an excellent chance in alone, but was denied by a nice stop by Brown. The Cougars came right back though and regained their lead when Danforth ripped a one timer past Bierworth off a feed by Goddard at 1:07. At 4:51 though the Muskies drew even again when Stuart Fierheller fired a rebound over a fallen Brown. Klomp picked up his third assist of the game, and Bryan Kolodziejczyk grabbed the other assist. The goal was Fierheller's second of the season, as the move to play him on a forward line paid off. Midway through the period the Muskies found themselves with :53 seconds worth of a two man advantage when Brett Gilmour was given a four minute high sticking penalty. The Muskies made it work when Klomp scored 19th from Wetmore and Patrick Thornton at 8:05. As a result the Muskies still had over three and a half minutes of power play left to work with. Cobourg were able to kill the remainder of the penalty. Later in the period Cobourg found themselves with nearly a full two minutes of a five on three advantage. The Muskies penalty killers came through with flying colours, and held the Cougars off, but just seconds later a Bryan Kolodziejczyk high sticking infraction put Lindsay down a man again. The Fish were able to kill that one off as well, but Bierworth had to make a couple of tricky stops down the stretch to preserve the one goal lead going into the intermission. In the period the shots were 19-14 in favour of the Cougars.
The Muskies have not had many third period leads lately, and this one didn't last long. At 2:26 the Cougars tied the game at 4 apiece on a Jared Martin goal, from Connor Armour and Dylon McMahon. Three and a half minutes in Gilmour was called for interfering with Muskie defender Brian Wadsworth. Wadsworth lay on the ice for an extended period of time with trainer Richard Clemons eventually helping him to the bench. The Muskie power play became a two man advantage when Loren Ulett received a head checking penalty and a ten minute misconduct. It was Cobourg who scored while short handed though to take a 5-4 lead when Evan Jasper beat Bierworth up high from Anton Zupancic at 6:01. With just over eight minutes remaining Vince Herlihey fed a nice pass through the goal crease that Campagna fired just wide. With 3:36 left in the period and the Muskies on a power play Dean Klomp made a nice move around the Cobourg net minder but hit the post. With 1:53 left on the clock Cobourg called their timeout. With Bierworth on the bench and :51 seconds left the Muskies finally got the break they have been waiting for when Vince Herlihey tied the game from Kolodziejczyk, and Thornton. The goal was Herlihey's 7th of the season, and second in his two games back from injury. For the first time this season the Muskies were off to overtime.
The overtime saw each team with some excellent chances, but in the end it was Cobourg's Nick Marinac who scored with 2.6 seconds left on the clock to win the game. The assists went to Jasper and Armour.
After the game Head Coach Paul Mattucci, along with assistant coaches, Jared Ruston, Bill Young, GM Sal Polito, and owner Dave Knapp had nothing but praise for the team.
The team played the full sixty minutes plus tonight, said Mattucci. You've seen over the last week or so that the team is willing to compete hard, which is what we want. It's finally taking shape.
Knapp added that he was happy with the effort he saw, while Young added that two weeks ago if the team had got down early the way they did tonight it may have been a different story.
I learned after the game that forward Trevor Smith was released from the team last week at the cut down time. The staff hope that he will get a chance to skate with Huntsville, close to his hometown of Gravenhurst.
The loss drops the Muskies to 13 wins, 16 losses, and 1 extra time loss.
The Muskies are right back at it Sunday night at home to Wellington.