By Peter Kung (ISN)
January 6, 2013 NANAIMO, BC (ISN) – Corey Renwick scored the shootout winner as the Nanaimo Buccaneers upset the Victoria Cougars 4-3 on a rare Saturday afternoon game in the Hub City.
Renwick, who hobbled off the ice after blocking a Brody Coulter point shot at the end of regulation, was the only one of eight shooters to score.
Though it did look like for a brief moment it would be Victoria who would come away with the two points.
But up until the time when referee Aaron Keller decided to reverse his decision on a late goal scored by Sam Rice.
With 1:40 remaining in regulation and the score knotted at 3-3, Coulter broke down the left wing and then cut in on net. After Riley Medves stopped Coulter, who sailed through the air after his scoring attempt failed, Rice banged home the rebound for his 18th goal of the season; so it seemed.
After consulting with one of his linesmen, Keller ruled that Medves’ mask had come off in the collision with Coulter and signalled no goal.
There was a glimmer of hope though for the Cougars when Garrett Dunlop was assessed a roughing penalty for attacking Coulter after the play.
Despite Mark Walton winning two key face-offs deep in Buccaneers territory, Victoria was unable to score.
Nanaimo, who rebounded from a 4-3 loss to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, scored two unanswered goals in the third period to send the game to overtime.
And for the first time in 30 games, the Cougars were unable to hold the lead when leading after 40 minutes.
Victoria (33-1-0-2) took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Robert Zadra in the dying seconds of the first period. With Buccaneers’ defenseman Quentin McShane in the penalty box, Zadra beat Medves with a seeing-eye slap shot from the left faceoff circle.
The score remained that way until the 16:17 mark of the middle frame when Kelyn Opel converted a Ben Kinshella rebound into a goal. Since his arrival, Opel has five points in three games.
During the next sequence, Cougars’ Jake Daughtry and Nanaimo’s Nick White dropped the gloves and fought at centre ice.
Then with 6.7 seconds left in the period, Daniel Foglietta scored from Derian Hamilton and Lee Orpen to pull the Buccaneers to within a goal.
But Dane Feeney would restore Victoria’s two goal lead at 9:25 of the third period. Left untouched, Feeney ripped a shot from the slot after taking a short feed from Coulter.
The Cougars, playing their third game in less than 72 hours, began to wear down.
Slowly but surely, Nanaimo (20-14-0-2) began controlling the play.
A hooking penalty to Nathan Chen-Mack put the Buccaneers on a much needed power play and at 10:34, Foglietta notched his second goal of the game.
Passed over during the three-star selection, Renwick tied the game with less than six minutes to play in regulation.
Feeney had a glorious chance to put the game away with 53 seconds remaining but came up empty after whiffing at the puck.
In overtime, Chen-Mack and Opel were the only players who had shots on goal.
After Hamilton, Chen-Mack, Lynden Eddy, Opel, Beau Blanaru, and Coulter were all unable to score in the shootout, it came down to Renwick in Round 4.
Skating straight down the middle, Renwick snapped the puck blocker side past Evan Roch.
Kinshella was up next and had to score to extend the shootout to another round. But Kinshella missed the net on his attempt.
The loss snapped Victoria’s 11-game win streak.
Nanaimo went 1-for-5 on the power play; meanwhile, the Cougars went 1-for-7.
Shots on goal favoured Victoria 42-40 through 65 minutes.
Immediately following the game, Walton was back out onto the ice at the Frank Crane Arena. This time around, suiting up for the Powell River Kings for their British Columbia Hockey League game against the Nanaimo Clippers.
Other games around the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League had the Saanich Braves getting the better of Comox Valley 4-2, the Westshore Wolves doubling up on the Kerry Park Islanders 4-2, and the Campbell River Storm shutting out the Oceanside Generals 3-0.
Next game for the Cougars is Thursday, January 10 against the Saanich Braves. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.-
1st star, Riley Medves (Saves: 39, Save Percentage: .928)
2nd star, Evan Roch (Saves: 37, Save Percentage: .925)
3rd star, Daniel Foglietta (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)