ADDISON, Ill.- In a heated crosstown clash at the Addison Ice Arena, the Chicago Crush Elite fell short against their divisional rivals, the Chicago Cougars, in a 5-2 loss on Sunday.
The game started with both teams exchanging power-play goals in the first period. Joseph Coglianese struck first for the Crush, capitalizing on a man advantage with assists from Austin Kessel and Jaden Yuknis. However, the Cougars responded with a power-play goal of their own, as Andrew Engstrom found the back of the net with helpers from Timothy Boyd and Rocco Bifano.
The second period proved decisive for the Cougars, as they netted three unanswered goals. James Gudino, Rocco Bifano, and Joshua Roman extended the lead, showcasing their offensive prowess. The Crush struggled to generate scoring opportunities, and their defensive efforts were tested as the Cougars dominated the shot count.
In the third period, the Cougars continued to press, with Andrew Engstrom notching his second goal of the night on a short-handed breakaway. The Crush managed to respond with a power-play goal from Cole Darlas, but it wasn't enough to mount a comeback.
Penalties played a significant role in the game, with both teams spending ample time in the sin bin. The Cougars capitalized on special teams, converting on two power plays and adding a short-handed goal.
The goaltending duel saw Kole Wendt standing strong for the Cougars, turning away 23 of 25 shots. On the other end, Ilan Walny faced a barrage of shots, making 42 saves but ultimately conceding five goals.
Despite the loss, the Crush displayed resilience, especially on the power play, where they managed to convert twice. The game showcased the competitive spirit of the two teams, and fans were treated to an intense matchup between these divisional foes.
Looking ahead, the Crush will seek redemption and aim to bounce back in their upcoming matchups. The rivalry between the Chicago Crush Elite and the Chicago Cougars remains intense, setting the stage for more exciting clashes in the USPHL.
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