Les Cougars de Vankleek Hill sont revenus de l’arrière pour vaincre le Volant de Gatineau-Hull par la marque de 5-4 en prolongation, le 30 octobre dernier.
Les Cougars de Vankleek Hill sont revenus de l’arrière pour vaincre le Volant de Gatineau-Hull par la marque de 5-4 en prolongation, le 30 octobre dernier.

Cougars claw their way back against Volant

Charles Durocher
EAP
The Vankleek Hill Cougars clawed their way back into the game on October 30, as they came back from behind and managed to beat the Gatineau-Hull Volant 5-4 in overtime.

The Cougars got off to a roaring start, setting the tempo early in the game as Justin Chaumont delivered a solid hit on Volant defender Jacob Roy-Lauzon. The local team was getting the majority of the better scoring chances early on, as they managed to put bodies in front of the visiting team’s net, getting a lot of good shots and rebounds in the process. 

Chaumont got the best early chance for his team at 17:15 when his shot barely missed the net, a few inches above the crossbar. Momentum started switching sides halfway through the period, however. Pierre-Olivier Gagnon got things rolling for the Volant with a solid shot on the Cougars’ net, but Frederick Durocher-Bourdon did the splits and managed to stop him from scoring the first goal. 

The Volant sustained the pressure on the home team, with attacker Shayne Lafleur hitting the crossbar less than a minute later. Étienne Champagne had the Volant’s best scoring chance during the first period on a one-timer during a power-play, but wasn’t able to capitalize on the opportunity. 

The Cougars finally broke the ice with 2:30 remaining in the first period when Nathan Sauvé’s shot was blocked by Volant goaltender Francis Gastaldi, but Jérémy Marcotte managed to snatch the rebound and score the first goal of the game. The Volant didn’t give up however, and came back with a couple of good scoring chances of their own near the end of first period. 

The Cougars had an early five-on-three opportunity in the second period, but couldn’t get anything going. The Volant came back from the penalty box reenergized, but the Cougars had other plans in mind. 

Brenden Easterbrook prevented the visiting team from clearing the puck out of its zone and dished to Marcotte, who spotted Simon Levac in front of the net, who scored his team’s second goal with 14:34 left in the second period. The Volant struck back a few minutes later when Jérémy Cardinal got a good scoring chance in a two-on-one situation, and decided to shoot his shot, beating Durocher-Bourdon on his blocker side with 11:19 left to play in the period. 

The Volant were hard at work trying to catch up in the third period and caught a lucky break when Maxime Sarazin’s floating point shot somehow found its way to the back of the net, tying the game with 16:15 left to play. The visitors kept applying pressure on the home team, and Durocher-Bourdon blocked Samuel Lamarche’s shot a few moments later, but was off balance when Joshua Mantha snatched the rebound and gave his team the lead for the first time of the game. 

Justin Chaumont then tied the game during a power-play with 9:30 left, beating Francis Gastaldi on his glove side from the face-off circle, with Easterbrook and Alexander Perry getting assists on the play. 

With the minutes waning in the third period, it seemed like both teams were playing conservative hockey in order not to lose control of the game. The home team caught a bad break when Nathan Sauvé tried unsuccessfully to clear the puck out of the Cougars’ zone, and Volant defender Zachary Page managed to stop the puck at the blue line, passing the puck to Alexis Imbeault who then dished to Samuel Lamarche who scored the go-ahead goal with 3:03 left. 

With 1:09 remaining in the third period, Josh Préfontaine caught a slashing penalty for the Volant, opening the door for a Cougars comeback. Chaumont somehow found himself wide open in front of the net during the power-play and managed to beat Gastaldi on his glove side, sending the game to overtime. Zachary Bigras sealed the deal in overtime, scoring the game winning goal for the Cougars with 3:41 left on the clock, and securing Vankleek Hill’s third win of the season in the process.