The Victoria Cougars picked a good time to play their best game of the season.
Steve Axford had a goal and an assist to lead Victoria to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Comox Valley Glacier Kings on a cold and rainy Thursday night.
Also scoring for the Cougars (16-3-1), which held period leads of 1-0 and 2-0, were Connor Stephens, Mark Walton, and Brody Coulter.
Lee Orpen replied for Comox Valley (13-5-2).
It was all Victoria as it outshot the high-flying Glacier Kings by a margin of 43 to 24. The score would have been much worse had it not been for goaltender Cam Large.
Axford extended his point streak to 15 games after banging home a rebound eight minutes in. Assisting on Axford’s 13th goal of the season were Sam Rice and Trevor Chown.
It remained 1-0 until the 12:30 mark of the second period when Stephens hooked up with Jake Nixon and Ryan Chan.
The Glacier Kings received an extended two-man advantage which carried over into the third period. However, two fine defensive plays from Rhys Williams kept the puck from reaching the net.
Orpen made things interesting though when his shot rolled up the stick and over the shoulder of Kiefer Giroux at 2:53.
But at 13:30, Walton restored Victoria’s two goal lead after converting a Chris Bannister rebound into a goal. Picking up the second assist was Robert Zadra.
Coulter was then set up by Axford for an empty net goal with 21 seconds remaining to complete the scoring. The goal moved Coulter into top spot in league scoring; one point ahead of Jackson Garrett who has now been held pointless over his last two games.
The Cougars went 2-for-7 on the powerplay; meanwhile, Comox Valley went 0-for-6.
Next game for Victoria is Friday, November 18 against the Campbell River Storm. Game time at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena, located at 225 Dogwood Street, is 7:30 p.m.
1st star, Nathan Chen-Mack (Goals: 0, Assists, 0)
2nd star, Ryan Chan (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)
3rd star, Cameron Large (Saves: 39, Save Percentage: .929)