By Peter Kung
December 12, 2012, Victoria, BC – The Victoria Cougars (27-1-0-1) continue divisional play when they entertain the Westshore Wolves (18-14-0-0) Thursday evening. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
Victoria is currently in the midst of a 12 game stretch which sees them facing South Island Division opponents only. Thus far, the Cougars are 5-1-0-0 during that span.
Mark Van Helvoirt and his troops will not face a team from the North Island Division until Jan. 5, 2013.
Victoria enters tonight’s game on a five game winning streak.
Last Saturday, the Cougars made it five straight wins following a 10-1 thumping of the Kerry Park Islanders.
Brody Coulter led the way with two goals and two assists and extended his point streak to 26 games. Extending their point streaks to four games were Garrett Brandsma and Wade Johnson.
For Brandsma, back-to-back hat tricks have moved him into a league leading tie with Ty Jones of the Saanich Braves with 26 goals.
Michael Herringer made his first start in net after being sidelined for four games with an undisclosed injury. The Victoria Royals’ prospect was solid, stopping 21 shots that included turning aside three breakaways – two of which were by Kerry Park’s leading scorer Kyle Peterson.
Westshore was unable to win its second in a row following last night’s 6-4 loss to the visiting Oceanside Generals.
Scoring for the Wolves, who led 1-0 after one period but then trailed 3-2 after two, were Braedon Behan (2), Tim Quinn, and Ryan Kelm.
Westshore outshot the Generals 31-30.
Spearheading Westshore in scoring is former Cougars’ Kyle Richter who took over the reins from Max Mois when he was traded to Saanich at the Dec. 1 deadline.
Mois had accounted for 19 percent of the Wolves offense before the trade. However, with the likes of Spencer Preece, Travis Oickle, Behan, and Richter in the lineup, goals should not be problematic.
Westshore averages 3.75 goals per game; good for fourth place in the nine-team Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
It is the goals against the Wolves need to improve on. Only the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, Campbell River Storm, and Islanders have a worse goals-against-average. Westshore is averaging 4.03 goals against per game.
Goaltender Alec Dillon is property of the Swift Current Broncos after being selected in the fifth round of the 2011 Western Hockey Bantam Draft.
Although a Herringer-Dillon showdown may not be in the cards tonight, it is possible that both goalies will face each other down the road should they make it to the WHL.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 55 points, South Island Division. Westshore – 3rd place, 36 points, South Island Division
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Garrett Brandsma, 26 goals; Brody Coulter, 54 assists; Brody Coulter, 77 points; Garrett Brandsma, 102 penalty minutes. Westshore – Spencer Preece, 17 goals; Kayle Ramsey, 24 assists; Kyle Richter, 32 points; Nicholas Hayes, 87 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Evan Roch (1.49 goals against average, .931 save percentage); Michael Herringer (2.48 goals against average, .890 save percentage). Westshore – Alec Dillon (3.55 goals against average, .896 save percentage); Matt Chester (4.05 goals against average, .887 save percentage)
SEASON SERIES: Victoria leads series, 4-0-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
September 9, 2012. Westshore Wolves 3 @ Victoria Cougars 7
September 19, 2012. Victoria Cougars 8 @ Westshore Wolves 1
October 18, 2012. Westshore Wolves 1 @ Victoria Cougars 9
November 28, 2012. Victoria Cougars 5 @ Westshore Wolves 2
December 19, 2012. Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
January 3, 2013. Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars
January 23, 2013. Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 13-1-0-0. Westshore – Away, 10-6-0-0
STREAKS: Victoria, W5. Westshore, L1
LAST TEN: Victoria, 9-1-0-0. Westshore, 6-4-0-0