Story by Skylar Craig, Photography By Richard Hyde
(ISN) – The Peninsula Panthers will look to sweep the Oceanside Generals Monday night in their first round VIJHL playoff series, after posting 4-3 and 3-1 wins Friday and Saturday.
With a 3-1 win Saturday evening and a 4-3 win Friday night, the Peninsula Panthers are poised to sweep the Oceanside Generals at home Monday in their first round VIJHL playoff series. ISN Junior Reporter Skylar Craig was at Friday’s game and files this report.
The Peninsula Panthers dominated the ice against the Oceanside Generals in game two of the first round of playoffs. Although the Generals were a worthy opponent, the Panthers took the lead right off the bat and defeated the Generals 4-3.
“Sometimes they’re a bit soft and other times they really click in,” Ryan Hunter of the Panthers commented, after mentioning how he enjoyed the fast paced game.
“We came focused and ready to play,” rookie Spencer Loverock said after the game, “We just have to keep up the momentum for tomorrow”. Although Spencer is only 16 years old, he fits in well with the team and is enjoying being up with the Panthers after a leg injury sidelined him for the better part of this season.
Overall, the boys played a solid game. Josh Bloomenthal (#29) opened up the scoring 8 minutes into the game off a rebound after the Oceanside goalie Michael Gudmandson made a series of stellar saves and Chris McDonald (#7) fired another one in with a minute left in the first period. It was a typical playoff hockey game with the crowd going nuts for every puck, starting early on in the first.
Oceansides Goalie Michael Gudmandson with a great glove save under pressure.
After failing to get the puck past Panther’s goaltender Kylar Stern (#30) in the first period, Oceanside scored two in the second but not without a heavy response from the Panthers, who matched their two goals. Stern was able to hold his ground in net all night; saving sixteen of the nineteen shots from Oceanside. Both Cody Allison (#23) and Joe Densmore (#18) managed to sneak one in each, leaving the second period with a 4-2 lead.
Cody Allison finishes off a great scrum at the net to come up with a superb goal.
The third period was definitely one to watch. The Panthers managed to keep their two goal lead throughout most of the third, with Oceanside narrowing down the lead with 2:08 left on the clock. The crowd was roaring through the last 30 seconds of the period, with a passionate countdown for the last ten seconds, leading the boys through the last few seconds of their hard-earned victory.
Even with their goalie pulled for an extra attacker, Oceanside wasn’t able to tie up the score and the Panthers walked away with the win.
The rough and emotional game only lead to one injury; a lower-body injury to Tyler Porteous (#14) who had to be helped off the ice nearly eight minutes into the third period. Luckily, he was able to come back for the last two minutes of the game and help finish off the win.
The Panthers are dealing with injuries at present, hoping to have a few of the injured players back on the lineup for the next series. Brock Dodsworth (#15) is currently dealing with a back injury suffered three weeks ago in a game against Saanich. The recovery has been going slow, but he’s been seeing a lot of improvement and hopes to be back for the next series.
Defenseman Jamie Gallo (#5) has a dislocated shoulder sustained while chasing a puck that was dumped into a corner. Gallo saw the hit coming and threw up an arm to brace the impact, popping his shoulder out of place from the collision. He too is hoping to be in shape to play soon; the recovery time is about six weeks and he starts physiotherapy on Monday.
Clay McClimon (#13) is out with a broken leg and a fractured foot resulting from a head-on motor vehicle collision on his way to a practice. Unfortunately his three month minimum recovery time is much longer than the others, but he’s been showing his team spirit by supporting his team mates at their games.
Friday’s Three stars of the game (left to right) were: Trevor Yee, David Stevens and Goalie Kylar Stern.
The Panther’s celebrate their Friday victory.
You can catch the Panthers in action on their home ice on Monday. The puck drops at 7:30.