The Victoria Cougars received a blessing in disguise after they lost to the Oceanside Generals back in early December.
Since that ill-fated game, Victoria has rattled off 12 straight wins and is in pursuit of number 13 this Thursday when the Generals come marching into town.
Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Rd., is 7:15 p.m.
The Cougars enter Thursday night’s contest with a 32-5-0-1 record and a .855 winning percentage; tops amongst all 37 Junior B teams in British Columbia.
Ranked No. 2 is the Beaver Valley Nitehawks (39-6-0-3, .844) of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League followed closely by the Richmond Sockeyes (32-6-0-0, .842) of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League.
Victoria made it 12 consecutive wins last Thursday following its 5-2 win over the Saanich Braves.
Chris Bannister scored twice for the Cougars while Steve Axford, Connor Stephens, and Graham Zagrodney each added singles.
Getting the start in net was Bryce Halverson who turned aside 26 of 28 shots. Halverson, who improved to 9-0-0-0 on the season, leads all goaltenders with a 2.00 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.
Brody Coulter remains in a tie with Ty Jones of Saanich for the league scoring title. Both players have 68 points apiece.
With three games remaining, Victoria travels to Peninsula on Friday before returning home to face the Campbell River Storm next Thursday.
The Cougars conclude the regular season Feb. 18 in Oceanside.
Dave Johnson and his troops (18-17-0-2, .514) are coming off a thrilling 7-6 overtime victory over the Kerry Park Islanders last Saturday.
Kyle Yamasaki tied it with 43 seconds remaining in regulation while Dylan Haugen finished it off with his second goal of the night only 23 seconds into extra time.
Oceanside, which scored three of their goals on the powerplay, came back from deficits of 1-0, 5-4, and 6-5.
Yamasaki currently sits ninth in league scoring with 19 goals and 23 assists for 42 points.
The win moved the No. 4 seed Generals to within five points of the No. 2 ranked Comox Valley Glacier Kings and two points of the No. 3 ranked Braves.
If the playoffs were to begin today, Oceanside would face the No. 5 ranked Panthers.
The Generals have lost three straight games away from the Howie Meeker Arena.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 65 points, South Island Division. Oceanside – 2nd place, 38 points, North Island Division
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Brody Coulter, 27 goals; Brody Coulter, 41 assists; Robert Zadra, 133 penalty minutes. Oceanside – Taylor Grobowski, 21 goals; Kyle Yamasaki, 23 assists; Nick Bell, 132 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Bryce Halverson (2.00 goals against average, .918 save percentage); Evan Roch (2.68 goals against average, .891 save percentage). Oceanside – Michael Gudmandson (3.31 goals against average, .898 save percentage); Dylan Quinn (3.43 goals against average, .891 save percentage); Joshua Alalouf (no appearances)
SEASON SERIES: Cougars lead series, 3-1-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
September 8, 2011. Oceanside Generals 0 @ Victoria Cougars 9
September 24, 2011. Victoria Cougars 6 @ Oceanside Generals 3
November 10, 2011. Oceanside Generals 2 @ Victoria Cougars 7
December 3, 2011. Victoria Cougars 2 @ Oceanside Generals 4
February 18, 2012. Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 16-1-0-1. Oceanside – Away, 7-10-0-1
STREAKS: Victoria, 12-0-0-0. Oceanside, 1-0-0-0
LAST TEN: Victoria, 10-0-0-0. Oceanside, 5-4-0-1