It was a tale of opposite outcomes for the Vankleek Hill Cougars in their games this past weekend.

Taking to home ice for the first time this season, the Cougars squared off against the St-Isidore Eagles in their home-opener on Saturday. The two games between the teams in the preseason were close contests, with St-Isidore nabbing both by a one-goal margin. Saturday’s game, on the other hand, was a different story; the home-team Cougars trounced the visiting Eagles 8-3 to take their first win of the season in front of a sizable opening-night crowd. All eight goals came from different scorers, with Brenden Rowe and Tyler Dopelhamer each tallying a goal and two assists for three points apiece on the night. Marc-Antoine Doyon, Charles Doyon, Jonathan Leblanc, Ronnie Boots, Byron Gagne-Lavictoire, and Charles-Olivier Portelance also scored for the Cougars in the victory.

However, the Cougars would find themselves on the receiving end of a one-sided defeat of their own on Sunday, as they fell 7-4 to the Clarence Castors. Despite missing a number of key players, the team took a 3-3 tie into the final period. However, a pair of third-period Castors goals prevented the Cougars from making the late push they wanted, with an empty-net tally sealing the game for the home team.

Head coach Norm Sauve says he’s happy with how the weekend went, despite Sunday’s loss. He also noted that the two games were closer than the scores might suggest.

“They were both actually pretty close games,” Sauve explained. “Turcotte kept us in during the first period of Saturday’s game and we were in it until the end on Sunday. They got a late goal and then scored on the empty net, so it was a game we definitely had a chance to win.”

The Cougars, now 1-2 on the season, play their next game against the ByTown Royals on Friday, October 6 before returning home on Saturday, October 7, to take on the North Dundas Rockets.