By Peter Kung
October 5, 2012, Victoria, BC – The Victoria Cougars feasted and feasted often. Garrett Brandsma, Wade Johnson, and Mark Walton scored two goals apiece as Mark Van Helvoirt and his hungry pack of Cougars devoured the visiting Oceanside Generals 9-4 on Thursday night.
Chipping in with an assist each was Dane Feeney and Sam Rice who extended their point streaks to ten games.
David Marshall, Brody Coulter, and Jordan Davie also scored for Victoria.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 9-0-0-1 on the season.
Oceanside dropped to 3-6-0-1.
Alex Mastrodonato got the start in net for the Generals but was pulled after allowing five goals on 20 shots.
It was a tame game. Referee Riley Friesen, who lined the Medicine Hat Tigers/Victoria Royals game the night before, did not call his first penalty until the 20 minute mark of the second period. Overall, Victoria received four power play opportunities while the Generals came away empty handed.
After both teams exchanged glorious scoring chances, it looked as though Oceanside struck first. However, a brief conversation between Friesen and one of his linesmen would deny the Generals of a goal.
Shortly thereafter, fans at the Archie Browning Sports Centre jumped out of their seats at 9:07 of the first period after Johnson bolted down the left wing, cut in on goal, and roofed a backhander over Mastrodonato.
17-year-old defenseman Brandon Workun, who was making his home debut, assisted on the goal.
Marshall made it 2-0 at 10:56.
Then with 37.1 seconds remaining in the opening frame, Lee Orpen passed the puck over to Matt Biagioni who beat Michael Herringer top shelf.
All of a sudden, Oceanside was back in the game.
Though it would not last long.
A four-goal second period would give the Cougars a 6-2 lead after 40 minutes.
Brandsma, who possesses one of the hardest and most accurate slap shots in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, laid claim to that at 4:55. From just inside the Generals blue line, the former Comox Valley Glacier Kings standout picked the top corner from long range.
Ethan Larson cut into the lead at 7:39 with his first of two goals.
Less than a minute later, Walton scored from Matthew Ho and Brandsma.
Jake Stolz, known more for his defensive prowess than anything else, saved a goal after he knocked the puck off Taylor Gray who had broken in on a breakaway.
A goal by Coulter at 12:19 would send Mastrodonato to the bench.
Kiefer Giroux came on in relief of Mastrodonato and allowed the first shot he faced. Johnson gave Giroux a rude awakening after scoring from Ben Kinshella and Nathan Chen-Mack at 13:39.
A power play goal from Walton at the 31 second mark of the third period would give Victoria a 7-2 lead. Then 13 seconds later, Davie beat Giroux blocker side.
Brandsma scored the Cougars ninth and final goal at 8:25.
Two breakaway goals, one scored shorthanded by Michael Fretz and the other scored at even strength by Larson, made the score a little bit more respectable.
Shots on goal favoured Victoria 38-28.
In Nanaimo, the hometown Buccaneers dropped a 6-2 decision to Comox Valley.
Next game for the Cougars is Friday, October 5 against the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Panorama Recreation Centre, located at 1885 Forest Park Drive, is 7:30 p.m.
1st star, David Marshall (Goals: 1, Assists: 2)
2nd star, Garrett Brandsma (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)
3rd star, Mark Walton (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)