By Peter Kung
Victoria (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars scored a record 11 power-play goals en route to a 12-1 drubbing of the Kerry Park Islanders Sunday afternoon and as a result, have booked their ticket to the 2012 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Championship Series.
Mark Van Helvoirt and his troops will now await the victor of the Peninsula Panthers and Saanich Braves series. Saanich currently leads that series two-games-to-one with Game 4 slated for Monday in Peninsula.
The Cougars, who won their series in five games, led 4-0 after one period and 8-0 after two.
Evan Roch got the start in net after backstopping Victoria to a thrilling overtime victory in Game 4. His only blemish was on Cole Schneider’s goal which was scored at 6:57 of the third period.
Victoria was leading 9-0 at that point.
Leading the way offensively was Trevor Chown, Connor Stephens, and Mark Walton who finished with four points each. Nathan Chen-Mack, Colin Minardi, and Sam Rice added three points apiece while both Kurtis Kunz and Graham Zagrodney supplied the Cougars with a pair of points.
Opening the scoring at 9:29 was Walton who would later add another.
Minardi, the recipient of a cross-check which sent Cole Peterson to the penalty box, buried a Robert Zadra rebound past starting goaltender Jackson Jane at 14:11 to make the score 2-0.
Then with 33.8 seconds remaining, Bannister set up Stephens for his first of two goals.
Chen-Mack, who was a physical force throughout the series, scored top shelf just as the buzzer sounded to end the period.
Jane, who allowed four goals on 18 shots, was replaced by Matt Chester at the beginning of the second period.
The score remained 4-0 until the 8:04 mark of the second period after Walton notched his second goal. Also scoring his second goal of the night was Stephens who gobbled up a loose puck before wiring a wrist shot past Chester at 10:15.
Rice, with the only goal not scored on the power play, beat Chester top shelf at 12:24. Then at 15:04, Chen-Mack waited patiently for Chester to commit before roofing the puck over him for his second goal of the game.
Victoria went ahead 9-0 on a point shot by Chown at 4:46 of the third period.
After Schneider broke Roch’s shutout bid with a shorthanded marker, Kunz responded with a goal just over a minute later.
On a delayed penalty to Peterson, Zagrodney set up Wyatt at 16:07.
Then at 18:32, Jake Nixon closed out the scoring from Kunz and Ryan Chan.
Stemming from an incident back in Game 3, Brett Leidl instigated a fight with Zadra five minutes into the middle frame. Both players were tossed from the game.
In the third period, Brandon Nicholson received two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting, and an automatic game misconduct after he grabbed Ryan Parmar and began throwing punches to the head of the non-committal Cougars defenseman.
Joel Gordon, who was handed the same amount of penalties as Nicholson, took out his frustrations on an unwilling Chen-Mack in a separate incident.
In all, the Islanders received a total of 173 penalty minutes and put Victoria on the power play 19 times.
The Cougars, who went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill, outshot Kerry Park 47-21.
For the five graduating Islanders players – Connor Morgan, Jake Newman, Cole Peterson, and Cole Thomson, Sunday’s game was their last hurrah. Josh Garneau, a class act, also played in his final game.
1st star, Nathan Chen-Mack (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)
2nd star, Mark Walton (Goals: 2, Assists: 2)
3rd star, Connor Stephens (Goals: 2, Assists: 2)