It was not the ending the Cariboo Cougars were hoping for in a must-win game at the 2017 Telus Cup in Prince George Friday night.
The hosts swarmed Mississauga Rebels goaltender Christian Purboo to the tune of 36 shots, but were unable to get a lead when it mattered and were forced to a 2-2 draw, eliminating them from medal contention.
Patrick Sebben opened the scoring for the Rebels, firing home a point shot past Cariboo goaltender Marcus Allen; the play was highlighted by a behind-the-back feed from defender Calder Lund.
Mississauga doubled its lead a few minutes later when an individual effort by Evan Benwell beat Allen for the second time in the period.
Despite having the territorial advantage, Cariboo found themselves in a trailing position for the second consecutive time.
After a very defensive second period, the scoring picked up in the third thanks to a pair of goals from Quesnel product Ty Kolle, who returned to the line-up after missing the previous two games as a healthy scratch.
The first goal came after a nice drive to the goal, where he lifted it past Purboo and took a hard cross-check to the face after the puck went in.
A short time later, Kolle would come to life once again, roofing a shot underneath the crossbar and tying the game at 2-2.
Cariboo continued to ramp up the rest of the pressure but were unable to pull ahead and claim the needed victory.
With the loss, the Cougars dropped to 1-2-2 in the round-robin and failed to clinch a top-four spot into Saturday’s Semi-Finals.
(Files from Brendan Pawliw with MYPRINCEGEORGENOW)