The Victoria Cougars host the Oceanside Generals in the lone Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game this Thursday.
Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:15 p.m.
This is the third meeting between these teams. Victoria won 9-0 back on September 8 and then 6-3 two weeks and two days later.
The Cougars (14-2-1) look to win their second straight after they dropped the hometown Kerry Park Islanders 4-1 last Saturday. Sam Rice, Brody Coulter, Wade Johnson, and Chris Bannister provided the offense while Kiefer Giroux stopped 18-of-19 shots for his seventh win of the season.
Steve Axford, who assisted on Bannister’s goal, extended his point streak to 13 games. During that span, the five-foot-nine, 175-pound forward has seven goals and sixteen helpers.
After 17 games, Victoria continues to stay atop of the V.I.J.H.L. standings. A win against Oceanside will move the Cougars seven points ahead of the second place Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
Victoria and Glacier Kings hook up in Comox Valley for a Remembrance Day battle before meeting the following Thursday at the A.B.S.C.
Oceanside (7-10-1) has won four of six which included cooling off the red-hot Peninsula Panthers in its last outing. Trailing 3-2 after 40 minutes, Taylor Grobowski went on to score three third-period goals as the Generals pulled out a 5-4 victory.
Grobowski, a teammate of Cougars’ defenseman Robert Zadra while both players were with the North Island Silvertips of the Major Midget League last season, tied the game with 1:18 remaining and then scored the game winner with 13 seconds left on the clock.
To that point, Peninsula had been on a five game winning streak.
Oceanside went through a major overhaul three weeks ago.
After watching his team start the season 3-6-1, General Manager Dave Johnston released several members of his coaching staff and both of his goaltenders.
Johnston, who stepped down as head coach last May, replaced Jason Dubyna behind the bench. Meanwhile, Michael Gudmandson and Dylan Quinn took over the goaltending duties from Kolding Larson and Tighearnan Marsh.
Gudmandson began the season with the Dawson Creek Rage of the North American Hockey League while Quinn started out with the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
The Generals are 4-4-0 since their shake up.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 29 points, South Island Division. Oceanside – 2nd place, 15 points, North Island Division
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Brody Coulter, 15 goals; Steve Axford, 18 assists; Anthony Bonner, 46 penalty minutes. Oceanside – Taylor Grobowski, 13 goals; Travis Briggs, 11 assists; Josef Chase, 39 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Kiefer Giroux (2.11 goals against average, .919 save percentage); Evan Roch (2.38 goals against average, .901 save percentage). Oceanside – Michael Gudmandson (2.83 goals against average, .929 save percentae); Dylan Quinn (3.23 goals against average, .885 save percentage)
SEASON SERIES: Cougars lead series, 2-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
September 8, 2011. Oceanside Generals 0 @ Victoria Cougars 9
September 24, 2011. Victoria Cougars 6 @ Oceanside Generals 3
December 3, 2011. Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals
February 9, 2012. Oceanside Generals @ Victoria Cougars
February 18, 2012. Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 6-1-1. Oceanside – Away, 3-5-1
STREAKS: Victoria, 1W. Oceanside, 1W
LAST TEN: Victoria, 7-2-1. Oceanside, 5-5-0