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Cougars roar into Orillia, tame the Terriers (5 photos)

'We need to come out hard and beat them for once. It would be nice to get payback,' says Terriers veteran after team that ousted them in playoffs wins again

The McLean & Dickey Orillia Terriers have suffered two disappointing defeats at the hands of the rival Schomberg Cougars to start the new season.

On Saturday night on home ice, the Jr. C Terriers fell to the Cougars 6-3 in their third game of the season — and the second against their North Carruthers Division rival who eliminated them from the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) playoffs in April. Sandwiched between those two losses was a home-ice win over Huntsville.

Just 15 seconds into Saturday night's contest, Anthony Nasciment sucked the energy out of the crowd of 231 fans at Rotary Place. He buried his first of the season past Terriers’ goalie Ian Crane, who was acquired from the Huntsville Otters in the off-season.

It didn’t take the Terriers long to respond. Just 30 seconds later the home team would storm the crease and Dylan Palomaki banged home a loose puck for his first of the year.

“It got all the boys buzzing again,” Palomaki said after the contest. “It felt good, obviously, to score one at home and get the boys going again.”

Without last year’s captain Broderick Black in the lineup this season, Palomaki knows the team will be relying on him for the same kind of offensive production.

“I got to show up and do my job,” he said. “My job is to put the puck in the net.”

The Cougars regained their lead eight minutes later when Cameron Kokelj scored off a weak shot from the slot. The Cougars finished the period with an exclamation mark when Dante Cugliari scored after dancing his way to the net off an offensive zone face-off.

Trailing by two after 20 minutes, Terriers’ coach Dalyn Telford elected to pull Crane, who faced 18 shots, in favour of Wade Monague.

“Sometimes it’s just to ignite the team,” Telford said. “It was a tough spot to be in, down 3-1 after the first period at home and I just felt we needed some sort of spark.”

Things started to get heated in the second period after Kokelj scored his second of three goals on the night, giving the Cougars a 4-1 lead. Pushing and shoving ensued as did bone-jarring hits. There was also a lot of back-and-fourth chirping between the two benches.

“We need to come out hard and beat them for once,” said forward Mason Beck, who is in his fourth PJHL season. “It would be nice to get payback.”

The Terriers looked like a whole different team to start the third period.

Defenceman Cameron Carruthers hammered home a slap shot from the point five minutes into the final frame. Four minutes later, Colton Dumond had a Jayden Murison shot ricochet off his skate and past Cougars goalie Matthew Lunghi to cut the deficit down to one.

“We just needed to start that way in the first period and carry on that way,” Beck said.

The comeback effort was put to rest by the Cougars who would add two more to their lead, before leaving Orillia with the victory. The Terriers were out-shot on Saturday night, 44-26.

Luckily for the Terriers, they are free of the Cougars until they meet again in Schomberg on Dec 8. The Terriers' next home game is Saturday, Oct. 1 when they host Innisfil, a newcomer to the league this season, at 7:30 p.m.

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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