By Peter Kung
December 13, 2012, ESQUIMALT, BC – Brody Coulter had a goal and three assists as the Victoria Cougars dumped the visiting Westshore Wolves 6-2 on a rainy Thursday evening.
Teams around the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League are finding it tough to contain the Cougars No. 1 line. Dane Feeney, one of Coulter’s line mates, found the back of the net twice while Sam Rice, the other part of the dynamic trio, chipped in with an assist.
Coulter, who now has 81 points on the season, extended his point streak to 27 games.
Both teams can contest that Thursday’s game was a classic case of, “it’s not how you start but how you finish.”
And it was Victoria (28-1-0-1) who got off to a slow start and finished with a bang.
The Cougars were unable to capitalize on an early five-on-three advantage for one minute and seven seconds. Midway through the opening period, Clay Carson put Victoria on a four minute power play after he was assessed a two minute minor for slashing and then slapped with an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.
After successfully killing off the penalties, Westshore (18-15-0-0) was handed a power play of its own less than a minute later after Jake Daughtry was penalized for interference.
And for only the fifth time this season, the Cougars allowed the game’s first goal. From in close, Travis Oickle beat Evan Roch at 15:32 for his fourth power play goal of the season.
Victoria, who trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes, was outshot 7-5.
What was said in the dressing room in between periods seemed to work as the Cougars came back out onto the ice and dominated the rest of the game.
An offensive zone penalty to Carson at 2:58 of the middle frame put Victoria back on the power play. The Cougars finally hit the score sheet when Feeney banged home a Coulter rebound past Alec Dillon at 3:38. David Marshall, who was used on the No. 1 power play unit, picked up the second assist.
Jamie Severs, who had wallpapered Brett Trofanenko up against the boards earlier in the game, scored less than two minutes later to put Victoria up 2-1.
Moments before the goal, Roch turned aside Tim Quinn after he and Brett Lervold played a little give-and-go.
It went from bad to worse for Carson. With two and a half minutes remaining in the period, Carson was hit by shot unleashed by his own teammate. Carson, who did not return, slammed his stick as he made his way off the ice and down the tunnel.
Quinn, who was robbed earlier, tied the game with one minute and 56-seconds remaining.
And all of a sudden, it was 2-2 entering the third period.
But a power play marker from Wade Johnson 61 seconds in opened the floodgates for three more goals.
At 5:06, Marshall wired a seemingly harmless slap shot that Dillon mishandled. Coulter made it 5-2 at 11:27 after converting a Rice pass into a goal. And then with 54 seconds remaining in regulation, Feeney teamed up with Coulter and Matthew Ho for the final goal of the game.
With the score 3-2, Oickle missed on a glorious chance to tie the game. Immediately after Roch made the save, Oickle put both hands on his head, looked up towards the ceiling of the Archie Browning Sports Centre, and then slammed his stick on the ice in frustration.
The Cougars, who won their sixth game in a row, went 2-for-9 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill.
Roch stopped 17 shots for the win. Dillon made 30 saves.
In Nanaimo, Jordan Levesque scored once and added an assist to lead the North Island Division leading Buccaneers to a 5-1 victory over the Kerry Park Islanders.
Next game for Victoria is Friday, December 14 against the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Panorama Recreation Centre, located at 1885 Forest Park Drive, is 7:30 p.m.
1st star, Dane Feeney (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2nd star, Brody Coulter (Goals: 1, Assists: 3)
3rd star, David Marshall (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)