By Peter Kung
Mill Bay (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars overcame a 1-0 first period deficit to take a 3-1 win over the Kerry Park Islanders in Game 2 of their VIJHL semi-final Tuesday night in Mill Bay.
The Victoria Cougars proved on Tuesday that not playing a full 60 minutes can still win games.
However, it is suggested that Victoria does not continue to do that.
After a disastrous opening period in which the Cougars got outplayed and outworked, they still managed to find a way to pull out a 3-1 victory over the hometown Kerry Park Islanders.
Victoria trailed 1-0 before answering back with three unanswered second period goals.
Bryce Halverson, who was the winning goaltender in Game 1, showed off his cat like reflexes in the early going after he slid across the crease and picked Chase Jackson-Puff’s shot out of the air.
Not to be denied again of a goal, the Islanders opened the scoring at 8:53 of the first period after Josh Garneau had his point shot redirected in by Cole Schneider.
Up to that point, it was all Kerry Park.
Matt Chester came up with a huge save late in the period after he flashed the leather on Robert Zadra’s point shot.
What was said in the Cougars dressing room in between periods must have worked.
Victoria returned with a vengeance, scoring three goals in the process.
With Kevin Woodyatt sprawled out on the ice and in no position to make any defensive plays, Brody Coulter set up Chris Bannister at 1:21 for his second goal of the postseason.
Then at 13:18, Sam Rice tied the game after deflecting home a Zadra point shot. And with 37 seconds remaining in the period, Rice provided the Cougars with insurance after he snapped the puck past Chester from the top of the right faceoff circle.
Late in the game, Islanders’ head coach Brad Scafe pulled Chester for an extra attacker and unlike in Game 1, the move proved futile.
Both referees, Jordy Davis and Jeff Eden were busy, doling out nine minor penalties to Victoria and ten minor penalties and four ten-minute misconducts to Kerry Park.
The Cougars outshot the Islanders 42-26.
Game 3 goes Thursday, March 8 in Victoria. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:15 p.m.