Peter Kung

The Victoria Cougars host the Kerry Park Islanders this Thursday.

Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:15 p.m.

This coming week marks a very busy time for Victoria (17-3-1).

Following their game against Kerry Park, the Cougars will travel to Saanich for a Friday night tilt with the Braves. Victoria will then return home to face the Peninsula Panthers for a rare Sunday afternoon game.

Mark Van Helvoirt and his troops look to make it three straight wins, something that has not been accomplished since the first week of October.

The Cougars got back on track following their 4-1 victory over the North Island Division leading Comox Valley Glacier Kings last Thursday. They then followed that up 24-hours later with a 3-0 blanking of the Campbell River Storm.

During those games, Victoria outshot their opponents by a combined total of 91-41 which included outshooting the Storm 48-17.

Getting the start in net for both games was Kiefer Giroux. The 17-year-old rookie leads the league in wins (10), goals against average (1.86), and save percentage (.925).

Steve Axford is on a 16 game point streak and has amassed eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points during that span.

Victoria comes into Thursday night’s game with the No. 1 powerplay, having scored on 23.5 percent of its opportunities. However, in five games against the Islanders, they are 5-for-37 for a success rate of only 13.5 percent.

Riddled by the injury bug and having to play three games in four nights, the Cougars depth will be put to the test.

Brandon Nicholson was a welcome addition when Kerry Park (8-13-0) faced the Oceanside Generals last Saturday.

Back in the line-up after missing three games, Nicholson scored once and added an assist as the Islanders snapped a nine game losing streak en route to an 8-3 victory.

Kerry Park is 6-1-0 when Nicholson records a point.

During their cold spell, the Islanders were outscored 39-20. However, four games were decided by only a goal.

Jackson Jane, who backstopped Kerry Park to its first victory since Oct. 13, has faced the Cougars only once this season. He made a relief appearance back on Nov. 5, stopping 30-of-31 shots in 43 minutes and two seconds of work.

Cole Thomson leads all Kerry Park players in scoring with 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points in ten games.

STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 35 points, South Island Division. Kerry Park – 4th place, 16 points, South Island Division

TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Brody Coulter, 19 goals; Steve Axford, 22 assists; Rhys Williams, 57 penalty minutes. Kerry Park – Cole Thomson, Conner Morgan, 11 goals; Cole Thomson, 17 assists; Brandon Nicholson, 115 penalty minutes

GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Kiefer Giroux (1.86 goals against average, .925 save percentage); Evan Roch (2.78 goals against average, .886 save percentage). Kerry Park – Jackson Jane (3.96 goals against average, .896 save percentage); Matt Chester (4.31 goals against average, .895 save percentage)

SEASON SERIES: Cougars lead series, 4-0-1


September 17, 2011. Victoria Cougars 4 @ Kerry Park Islanders 1

October 6, 2011. Kerry Park Islanders 2 @ Victoria Cougars 5

October 13, 2011. Kerry Park Islanders 4 @ Victoria Cougars 3 (OT)

October 15, 2011. Victoria Cougars 3 @ Kerry Park Islanders 2

November 5, 2011. Victoria Cougars 4 @ Kerry Park Islanders 1

December 15, 2011. Kerry Park Islanders @ Victoria Cougars

January 14, 2012. Victoria Cougars @ Kerry Park Islanders

HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 8-1-1. Kerry Park – Away, 6-5-0

STREAKS: Victoria, 2-0-0. Kerry Park, 1-0-0

LAST TEN: Victoria, 7-3-0. Kerry Park, 1-9-0