Story by Peter Kung – Photos by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
February 25, 2013, Esquimalt, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars cruised to a 12-2 win over the Peninsula Panthers in one of three Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff games on tap Sunday.
Brody Coulter produced a goal and three assists for Victoria, who managed to rebound from a 5-3 loss in Game 2, while Graham Zagrodney scored twice and added a pair of helpers.
Also scoring for the Cougars were Nathan Chen-Mack (2), Dane Feeney (2), Jamie Severs, Ben Kinshella, Mark Walton, David Marshall, and Jo Davie.
Evan Roch, who was pulled in his last start, was named the game’s first star after turning aside 30 shots.
One of many brawls to happen throughout tonights game. This is Cougars Ben Kinshella and Panthers Ben Meek – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
At the eight-minute mark of the second period, Peninsula trailed by only two goals, the pressure started to show and the team soon started to unravel; their out –of –line behavior would cost the entire team.
The Panthers were squeaky clean until the 7:17 mark of the second period when Victoria was able to capitalize on its first power play. With just over a minute remaining in Thomas Strocel’s cross-checking penalty, Kinshella scored at 8:08 to give the Cougars a 4-1 lead.
Referees try and break up another cat fight – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
A roughing penalty to Reece Costain four minutes later would put Victoria back on the power play. The Cougars made it 5-1 after Chen-Mack one-timed a shot past Stephen Heslop at 12:57. Heslop, who made 20-of-25 saves up to this point in the game was now replaced by Josh Round.
A melee broke out at the 13:16 mark when Coulter was wallpapered into the boards by Jackson Skerratt after the play was over. Skerratt received a cross-checking penalty; putting Peninsula back on the defensive. Walton was now on their doorstep, after two attempts at the puck, Walton would bang it home at the 14:06 mark.
An interference penalty to Austin Singhera put the Cougars on their fourth power play of the afternoon. Feeney put Victoria up 7-1 at 15:10 after he was allowed to roam free through the slot and backhand the puck past Round.
Cougars Ben Kinshella celebrates his goal on Stephen Heslop – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
Vickers, who stands six-foot-four and weighs in at 215-pounds, chirped at the Cougars bench as he skated by en route to the dressing room.
Away from the play, Costain received two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting, and two game misconducts for his part in a separate scuffle.
On the ensuing power play, Marshall scored at 17:23 to make it 8-1.
After the goal, Peninsula’s head Coach Brian Passmore was seen waiving a white towel, and was later assessed a game misconduct. Brian received an additional gross misconduct after throwing a stick out onto the ice.
Zagrodney gave the Cougars a 9-1 lead after rifling a point shot past Round at 18:34.
A delay of game penalty to the visitors after the goal kept the Panthers two men short. And with 16 seconds remaining in the period, Coulter made it 10-1.
Jake Stolz defends his goaltender – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
Victoria was relentless, keeping up the pressure for the entire third period. From a sharp angle, Chen-Mack gave Victoria an 11-1 lead with another power play goal at 1:30. Then at 8:43, Davie made it 12-1 after taking full advantage of a Peninsula defense running around in its own zone.
Whistler, B.C. native Will Finlay rounded out the scoring for the Panthers 20 seconds later.
Round stopped 10-of 17 shots in relief.
Despite the Panther’s win against the Cougars prior, this was one out of the two goal celebrations of the game – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
The Cougars took a 1-0 lead at 6:09 of the first period on a goal by Severs. Feeney made it 2-0 by the 9:43 mark. Brett Sjerven would cut the lead in half at 11:53, but a goal by Zagrodney at 17:20 would restore Victoria’s two goal lead.
The Cougars went 8-for-9 with the man advantage which included scoring eight power play goals in a row.
Meanwhile, Peninsula finished 0-for-6.
Victoria has 23 carded players for an average of 18.08 years old. Not far behind are the Panthers who have 21 carded players for an average age of 17.90 years old. That works out to be an average of 0.18 years younger per player – or about 2.25 months.
In Colwood, the Saanich Braves upended the Westshore Wolves 5-2 to take a 3-1 series lead.
And in Parksville, the Comox Valley Glacier Kings eliminated the Oceanside Generals in four straight games following a 6-1 win.
Game 4 goes Monday, February 25 in North Saanich. Game time at the Panorama Recreation Centre, located at 1885 Forest Park Drive, is 7:30 p.m.
1st star, Evan Roch (Saves: 30, Save Percentage: .937)
2nd star, Nathan Chen-Mack (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)
3rd star, Graham Zagrodney (Goals: 2, Assists: 2)