Cougars Stave off Glacier Kings

100

Peter Kung

Connor Stephens scored twice and added an assist to lead the Victoria Cougars past the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 5-2 on Saturday night.

With the win, Victoria improved to 2110-5-0-1 and now has won its last nine games.

Getting the start in net for the Cougars was Bryce Halverson who turned aside 27 shots which included stopping a Mitch Ball breakaway.

The line of Brody Coulter (1g-1a), Chris Bannister (1g-1a), and Colin Minardi (0g-3a) was instrumental for Victoria, combining for seven points.

Stephens opened the scoring at 1:51 of the first period after he beat starting goaltender Jackson Winkler five-hole. Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Jed Martin who was issued an interference penalty only 14 seconds earlier.

Comox Valley tied the game when Derrick Nicholson’s shot trickled past Halverson at 4:24.

Graham Zagrodney restored the Cougars lead at 13:2110 with his first goal of the season by scoring off a Stephens rebound. Jackson Garrett had eight seconds remaining in his high-sticking penalty resulting in another powerplay goal for Victoria.

The lead was short-lived when Ball capitalized off a Cougars turnover a dozen seconds later.

Bannister would go on to score the game winner at 15:1110 after picking the top corner of the net with a well placed backhander from the slot.

The score remained 3-2 in favour of Victoria until Coulter’s goal at 6:32 of the middle frame.

Immediately after getting beat glove side, Winkler was yanked after allowing four goals on 14 shots.

There was no scoring until the 13:21 mark of the third period when Stephens tipped home a Steve Axford point shot. Stephens’ goal, his eighth of the season, was scored while on a two man advantage.

Cameron Large stopped 16-of-17 shots in relief.

The Glacier Kings, which dropped to 18-14-0-3, took several undisciplined penalties near the end of the game.

Victoria went 3-for-11 on the powerplay; meanwhile, Comox Valley went 0-for-5.

Next game for the Cougars is Thursday, January 26 against the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:15 p.m.

THREE STARS:

1st star, Connor Stephens (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)

2nd star, Chris Bannister (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)

3rd star, Brody Coulter (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)

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