By Peter Kung
November 12, 2012, Victoria, BC – The Victoria Cougars (20-0-0-1) open up a three-game home stand this Thursday as the Campbell River Storm (4-14-0-2) comes calling. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
Thursday night’s meeting marks the final regular season appearance by Campbell River.
Victoria is 2-0-0-0 against the Storm this season; having won by scores of 3-2 and 7-3.
Offensively, the game will feature the Cougars No. 1 ranked scoring offense (5.95 goals for per game) up against Campbell River’s No. 8 ranked scoring defense (4.80 goals against per game).
Conversely, the Storm’s No. 8 ranked scoring offense (3.00 goals for per game) will be put to the test against Victoria’s No. 1 scoring defense (1.90 goals against per game).
Campbell River has the dubious distinction of allowing a league-high seven shorthanded goals.
Last weekend, the Cougars beat the Kerry Park Islanders 9-1 before downing the Saanich Braves 6-2.
In the game against the Islanders, Sam Rice scored once and added three assists for a four point night. Victoria, who held period leads of 3-0 and 6-1, outshot Kerry Park 49-19.
24 hours later, in the game against Saanich – Ben Kinshella and Rhys Williams each had a goal and a pair of helpers while Brody Coulter chipped in with three assists. The Cougars, who outshot the Braves 36-19, held period leads of 1-0 and 2-1.
Coulter is currently on an 18 game point streak.
Victoria, whose last loss was back on Sep. 22 when it dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, has won its last 14 games.
One of the best 1-2 punches, Coulter (14g-42a, 56 pts.) and Rice (13g-39a, 52 pts.) continues to lead the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League in scoring.
As Coulter and Rice are piling up points, Evan Roch is preventing them. The reigning Ray’s Sports Centre Trophy winner is a perfect 12-0-0-0 and leads the league with a 1.50 goals against average.
Last weekend, Campbell River split a pair of games; losing 4-3 to the Peninsula Panthers before rebounding for a 6-4 win over Comox Valley.
In the game against Peninsula, Josh Adkins scored with 18 seconds remaining in regulation to propel the Panthers to a come-from-behind victory. This coming after Joel Smith of the Storm had tied the game 19 seconds earlier. Alex Benjestorf scored twice in a losing cause.
48 hours later, in the game against the Glacier Kings – both James Bryant and Christopher Critchley added a goal and two assists to lead Campbell River to victory. Nicholas Clark, who was only making his third start of the season, turned aside 31-of-35 shots for the win.
Tyson Rennie leads all Storm scorers with 14 goals and nine assists for 23 points.
Campbell River, who had its 14 game losing streak halted, remains last in the North Island Division with ten points in 20 games.
Following its match against the Storm, Victoria will host Comox Valley for a matinee game on Nov. 18 before concluding the home stand with the Saanich Braves on Nov. 22.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 41 points, South Island Division. Campbell River – 4th place, 10 points, North Island Division
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Mark Walton, 19 goals; Brody Coulter, 42 assists; Brody Coulter, 56 points; Garrett Brandsma, 94 penalty minutes. Campbell River – Tyson Rennie, 14 goals; Jesse Spooner, 11 assists; Tyson Rennie, 23 points; Gibson Doney, 108 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Evan Roch (1.50 goals against average, .926 save percentage); Michael Herringer (2.48 goals against average, .890 save percentage). Campbell River – Curtis Bagnall (4.30 goals against average, .889 save percentage); Jordan Salas (4.57 goals against average, .881 save percentage); Nicholas Clark (6.23 goals against average, .833 save percentage)
SEASON SERIES: Cougars lead series, 2-0-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
September 28, 2012. Victoria Cougars 3 @ Campbell River 2
October 25, 2012. Campbell River Storm 3 @ Victoria Cougars 7
January 25, 2013. Victoria Cougars @ Campbell River Storm
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 9-0-0-0. Campbell River – Away, 2-7-0-1
STREAKS: Victoria, W-14. Campbell River, W-1
LAST TEN: Victoria, 10-0-0-0. Campbell River, 1-8-0-1