By Peter Kung
December 14, 2012, NORTH SAANICH, BC – Pete Zubersky came up with a plan to silence the Victoria Cougars faithful. But that did not stop Cougars’ cheerleader Harvey Erman from leading half a dozen choruses of C-O-U-G-A-R-S as Victoria skated to a convincing 6-1 win over the Peninsula Panthers Friday night.
The co-owner of the Panthers recently instituted a policy banning all noise making devices, which includes Erman’s drum, inside the Panorama Recreation Centre.
But in spite of all this, the move backfired on Zubersky as it only fired up the Cougars and made the Victoria fans in attendance more boisterous.
Dane Feeney led the offensive attack with two goals and one assist.
Also scoring for the Cougars (29-1-0-1) were Sam Rice, Graham Zagrodney, Wade Johnson, and Cam MacKay.
The two teams were knotted at 1-1 after 20 minutes before Victoria took a 2-1 lead into the final stanza.
Peninsula (16-13-0-2) opened the scoring on the power play at 8:38 of the first period when Cody Breitenstein blew a point shot past Michael Herringer.
Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Matthew Ho who had all but one minute and 20-seconds remaining in his interference penalty.
Despite allowing one goal on four first period shots, Herringer turned in another brilliant effort. The Victoria Royals’ draft pick improved to 10-0-0-1 while lowering his goals against average to 2.35 following a 13 save performance.
The Cougars would score the equalizer at 16:18 when Rice teamed up with David Marshall and Feeney for his fifth power play goal of the season.
Breitenstein was in the penalty box at the time of the goal.
Then with the only goal of the second period, Feeney finished off a tic-tac-toe play with Rice and Coulter 37 seconds in.
With the assist, Coulter extended his point streak to 28 games. Coulter is now 17 points away from the century mark with 17 games remaining in the regular season.
Four minutes later, Breitenstein saved the day after he cleared a trickling puck from crossing the goal line.
Herringer showed why he is a star in the making when he flashed the leather to rob Zack Smith of a sure goal. The game saving save came while Victoria was clinging to a 2-1 lead.
After scoring four unanswered goals against the Westshore Wolves the night before, it was déjà vu all over again for Mark Van Helvoirt and his troops.
Finding a seam, Zagrodney stepped over the Panthers blue line and fired the puck through Stephen Heslop at 2:47.
Johnson made it 4-1 at 6:11 after banging home a rebound.
Heslop, who allowed five goals on 25 shots, was pulled after Feeney beat him from in close at 6:28.
Then at 9:08, MacKay, an affiliate player from the South Island Royals of the BC Major Midget League, scored his first goal as a junior after tipping in a Brandon Workun point shot.
Josh Round made three saves in relief.
The Cougars, who won their seventh straight game, went 1-for-4 with the man advantage while Peninsula went 1-for-2 on the power play.
In Saanich, Tanner McGaw made 33 saves as the hometown Braves hung on for a 3-2 win over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
And in Campbell River, Jon Brumwell scored once and added an assist to help lead the Storm past the visiting Kerry Park Islanders 4-3.
Next game for Victoria is Wednesday, December 19 against the Westshore Wolves. Game time at Bear Mountain Arena, located at 1767 Island Highway, is 7:30 p.m.