Corey St Laurent
Victoria, BC – The University of Victoria Hockey Club and the Okanagan College Coyotes met Saturday night at Kelowna Memorial Arena for the second game of a weekend road swing. Jason Margolus received the nod in net for UVic for the fourth straight game while the Coyotes countered with their backup goaltender, Kelson Willms.
Any confidence UVic may have been riding after Friday night’s 6-3 win would quickly evaporate in the first period. Okanagan College would score at 3:38 and again at 9:20 to grab a quick two-goal lead. Early struggles seemed to wake up the UVic bench as Mitch Bell replied at 11:58 before rookie Eli Wiebe evened the score at 14:03 with a marker of his own. Before the period was out, another rookie in Adam Klein capitalized on a UVic power play to give UVic the lead heading to the break. After one, UVIC 3 OC 2.
UVic would pick up where they left off in the second as defenceman Phil Barter extended the lead to two just over three minutes into the frame, ending Kelson Willms night. Sunny Gill would be sent between the pipes for the remainder of the game. Play would settle in as each team looked to shore up their defensive struggles. Okanagan College would add a late goal to trail by one with twenty minutes to play. After two, UVIC 4 OC 3.
The third period could only be characterized as tentative until reigning BCIHL MVP Matt Bell notched his ninth of the year at 7:36 to give UVic a commanding 5-3 lead. With less than six minutes remaining, the wheels would fall off for UVic. Okanagan College would rattle off three goals in the dying minutes to snatch the victory away from UVic. Final score, UVIC 5 OC 6.
As the third period expired, a scuffle began after UVic’s Dennis Pavlina was hit with a late shot. In total, 92 minutes in penalties would be handed out and both teams will await word from the league as suspensions could be forthcoming. Rookie Brett Orser posted two assists to pace UVic while Okanagan College received multiple point nights from four different players.
UVic went 1/6=16.7% on the power play while Okanagan College was 2/5=40.0%. UVic was out-shot by the Coyotes 38-26.
UVic will have a couple weeks to rest before heading to Cheney, Washington to face Eastern Washington University on February 3-4 where fourth place in the BCIHL will be on the line.
The UVIC Hockey Club, a Vikes Sport Clubs program, is a student-led organization that competes competitively in the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League. Information on the team is available at www.uvichockey.com. For league details, please visit www.bcihl.ca.