The Victoria Cougars will put a couple of streaks on the line when they host the Peninsula Panthers this Thursday.
Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Rd., is 7:15 p.m.
Currently ranked second amongst all 37 Junior B teams in British Columbia, Victoria (26-5-0-1) goes for its seventh straight victory and its tenth win in a row on home ice.
Only the Richmond Sockeyes of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League has a better winning percentage than the Cougars.
Entering Thursday’s game, Victoria holds a 16 point advantage on the Comox Valley Glacier Kings for the overall lead in the standings. The team which finishes first overall after the regular season will receive an automatic bye in the first round of the playoffs.
Both the Cougars and Comox Valley have ten games remaining.
Last Friday, Victoria edged Peninsula 4-3 in a shootout. Steve Axford scored his 19th and 20th goals while Chris Bannister tallied his third goal in two games for the Cougars. Evan Roch, who was celebrating a birthday that night, stopped 11 shots for his 11th win of the season.
Brody Coulter, who leads all Victoria scorers with five goals and four assists against the Panthers, had his point streak end at 18 games on Friday.
Head-to-head, the Cougars have won all five meetings against Peninsula this year and have outscored their long-time rival 25-13 in the process.
The Panthers (13-13-0-2) made some changes over the Christmas break; sending Cole and Kyle Peterson to the Kerry Park Islanders in exchange for Trevor Yee and future considerations.
By trading the dynamic brother duo, Peninsula lost approximately thirty percent of its scoring.
Barring any further deals before the Jan. 10 trade deadline, the Panthers will be counting on Joe Densmore, Dane Gibson, and Tyler Porteous to fill the net.
Densmore responded in a big way last game, scoring four times in a 6-4 loss to Comox Valley. Zach Wear got the nod in net for Peninsula Saturday after Kylar Stern made the start against the Cougars the night before.
In five games against Victoria, Gibson has three goals and two assists.
The Panthers have dropped their last four games away from the Panorama Recreation Centre and have been outscored by their opposition 17-10 during that stretch.
Densmore is 11th in league scoring with 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 53 points, South Island Division. Peninsula – 3rd place, 28 points, South Island Division
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Brody Coulter, 25 goals; Brody Coulter, Sam Rice, 32 assists; Robert Zadra, 107 penalty minutes. Peninsula – Joe Densmore, 14 goals; Jake Bryan, 24 assists; Kayle Ramsay, 88 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Bryce Halverson (2.24 goals against average, .901 save percentage); Evan Roch (2.81 goals against average, .884 save percentage). Peninsula – Kylar Stern (3.28 goals against average, .916 save percentage); Zach Wear (4.82 goals against average, .880 save percentage)
SEASON SERIES: Cougars lead series, 5-0-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
September 22, 2011. Peninsula Panthers 3 @ Victoria Cougars 4
September 30, 2011. Victoria Cougars 6 @ Peninsula Panthers 1
November 27, 2011. Peninsula Panthers 2 @ Victoria Cougars 4
December 10, 2011. Victoria Cougars 7 @ Peninsula Panthers 4
January 6, 2012. Victoria Cougars 4 @ Peninsula Panthers 3 (SO)
January 26, 2012. Peninsula Panthers @ Victoria Cougars
February 10, 2012. Victoria Cougars @ Peninsula Panthers
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 14-1-0-1. Peninsula – Away, 5-9-0-1
STREAKS: Victoria, 6-0-0-0. Peninsula, 0-2-0-1
LAST TEN: Victoria, 8-2-0-0. Peninsula, 4-5-0-1