It did not take long for the Victoria Cougars to seize control.
Brody Coulter scored once and added an assist as Victoria downed the Kerry Park Islanders 4-1 at the Kerry Park Recreation Centre on Saturday night.
Also scoring for the Cougars were Sam Rice, Wade Johnson, and Chris Bannister.
Alex Milligan replied for Kerry Park.
By 16:58 of the first period, Victoria had built a commanding 3-0 lead.
Islanders’ goaltender Matt Chester was pulled after allowing three goals on 11 shots. His replacement, Jackson Jane, made 30 saves in relief.
Rice gave the visiting Cougars a 1-0 lead after he tipped home a Ryan Parmar point shot during a delayed penalty at 10:43. Then at 13:14, Coulter cut wide right before beating Chester top shelf with a wrist shot.
Johnson ended Chester’s night with a harmless shot from just inside the blue line. Chester got a piece of the puck but could not reach back in time to swipe it away.
There were no penalties until the 20 minute mark. As the buzzer sounded to end the period, a melee broke out along the side boards. Rhys Williams squared off with Jake Newman while Parmar pushed and shoved with Dylan Dirom in a battle of heavyweights. At centre ice, Adam Wade grabbed Steve Axford and began to throw punches at the Cougars co-scoring leader.
Wade received an extra minor for roughing and Victoria had a powerplay to begin the second period.
The Cougars then received a two man advantage for one minute and 38 seconds after Chase Jackson-Puff interfered with Bannister. Kyle Richter had a sure goal taken away when Bannister’s cross ice pass was broken up by Josh Garneau. And on the same powerplay, Bannister had his one timer kicked aside by Jane.
It was all Victoria.
Even the role players got into the action as Jake Nixon and Ben Kinshella were both denied goals. The score would have been much worse had it not been for Jane.
Kiefer Giroux, who faced a total of 19 shots, had his shutout bid snapped at the 8:59 mark of the second period when Milligan beat him with a slap shot.
But the Cougars came right back just over six minutes later when Axford made a beautiful slap pass to Bannister who was parked at the side of the net. Bannister’s goal, which was his second in three games, came on the powerplay.
Victoria received a seven minute powerplay when Brandon Nicholson was assessed a five minute major for cross-checking, a two minute minor for checking-to-the-head, and a game misconduct.
It was Nicholson’s second check-to-the-head penalty in as many games.
Frustrations boiled over again when Dirom began to throw punches at Coulter. Coming to the aid of his captain, Parmar jumped in and exchanged blows with Dirom.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 14-2-1.
Kerry Park, 7-10-0, has gone from sitting comfortably in second place in the South Island Division to dropping to last place by losing its sixth straight game.
Suneil Karod was back behind the Victoria bench after winning the bronze medal with Team BC at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan last week.
Next game for the Cougars is Thursday, November 10 against the Oceanside Generals. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:15 p.m.