November 2, 2012, NORTH SAANICH, BC – Evan Roch continues to play at a high level for the Victoria Cougars. The six-foot-two, 195-pound goalie turned aside all 15 shots as Victoria blanked the Peninsula Panthers 3-0 on a rainy Friday night.
Roch, who owns a league best 1.50 goals against average, is coming off back-to-back victories.
Providing the offense for the Cougars (17-0-0-1) were Mark Walton, Ben Kinshella, and Sam Rice.
Victoria won its eleventh straight – following up on a 3-1 win against the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
It was the fourth win in as many games against Peninsula this season. The two teams will square off again on December 14 before meeting three more times after that.
Peninsula, which lost 7-4 to the Kerry Park Islanders less than a week ago, dropped its fourth game in a row. During that span, the Panthers have been outscored 17-6.
Walton opened the scoring on the power play at 3:25 of the first period. From the point, Brody Coulter passed the puck to Kinshella who then centred it to Walton for his 15th goal of the season.
Sitting in the sin bin was Reece Costain who had 77 seconds remaining in his interference penalty.
Then ten seconds after the Cougars killed off a penalty of their own, Kinshella scored at 11:13 to make it 2-0 in favour of Victoria. Assisting on the goal was Jake Stolz who had head manned the puck up to Jake Daughtry.
Registering only two shots on goal in the opening period, Peninsula showed a lot more jump in the final 40 minutes.
The Panthers (10-8-0-1) received a lengthy two-man power play midway through the middle frame after Walton and Garrett Brandsma were assessed penalties within a 58 second span.
But the Cougars penalty kill got the better of Peninsula’s power play as Victoria cleared its zone three times and limited the Panthers to zero shots on goal.
Peninsula came close to making it a one goal game when Costain skated in on a breakaway with six minutes remaining in the period. However, Roch came up big with a pad save.
That missed opportunity would come back to haunt the Panthers.
With 49.8 seconds left in the middle frame, Rice twinkled the twine after getting in behind enemy lines.
Nathan Looysen came close to ruining the shutout bid of Roch. With five minutes remaining in regulation, Roch had to do the splits to keep the puck out.
Bringing size and strength to the table, Stolz was a physical presence all night. In the first period alone, Stolz broke up a two-on-one rush as well as knocking Dane Gibson off the puck in a separate incident. Stolz was at it again in the third period when he flattened Cody Breitenstein to the ice at the Cougars blue line.
Goaltender Stephen Heslop made 32-of-35 saves in the loss.
Victoria went 1-for-5 on the power play while Peninsula went 0-for-6.
In Saanich, Ty Jones scored three goals and added a pair of assists to lead the Braves past the visiting Westshore Wolves 6-2.
And in Campbell River, Mitch Ball recorded two goals and two assists as the Comox Valley Glacier Kings skated to a 7-4 victory over the hometown Storm.
Next game for Victoria is Saturday, November 3 against the Kerry Park Islanders. Game time at the Kerry Park Recreation Centre, located at 1035 Shawnigan Mill Bay Road, is 7:30 p.m.
1st star, Ben Kinshella (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)
2nd star, Stephen Heslop (Saves: 32, Save Percentage: .914)
3rd star, Evan Roch (Saves: 15, Save Percentage: 1.000)