March 1, 2013, Esquimalt, BC (ISN) – Dane Feeney and Mark Walton had three assists each to lead Victoria past the Peninsula Panthers 6-1 on Thursday night.
Peninsula gave it a valiant effort, especially in the second period when they outshot the Cougars 12-6, but failed to force a sixth game. Instead, Victoria will now face the Saanich Braves in the second round of the 2013 VIJHL South Island Division Playoffs.
Thursday’s game was the last hurrah for Panthers’ Brett Clarke and Logan Gibson – both of whom are in their final year of junior eligibility.
The Cougars jumped out to period leads of 3-0 and 4-1 before icing it with two more goals in the final frame.
Scoring for Victoria were Brody Coulter (2), Ben Kinshella (2), Kelyn Opel, and Sam Rice. But the night belonged to Michael Herringer who turned aside 25-of-26 shots in his playoff debut. Herringer showed why he was selected in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft by the Victoria Royals when he robbed Nathan Looysen during a first period breakaway. The Comox, B.C. native used every part of his body to stymie the Panthers.
Coulter opened the scoring at 4:56 when his shot beat Stephen Heslop high glove side. Then at 13:34, Coulter banged home a rebound past Heslop who was out of position after stopping a point shot off the stick of Graham Zagrodney. Opel put the Cougars up 3-0 with a power play goal at 16:21.
There was no scoring until late in the second period. Another power play goal, this time scored at 19:02, was courtesy of Kinshella, just 35 seconds later it was Josh Adkins who managed to get Peninsula on the board.
Rice made it 5-1 at 4:15 of the third period before Kinshella rounded out the scoring with a well-placed backhander at 14:17.
Heslop, who was making his fifth consecutive playoff start, made 23 saves.
Victoria went 2-for-3 on the power play; meanwhile, the Panthers went 0-for-3.
Assistant coach Ben King led Peninsula into battle.
Game 1 against Saanich goes Sunday, March 3. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 3:00 p.m.
1st star, Michael Herringer (Saves: 25, Save Percentage: .962)
2nd star, Brody Coulter (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
3rd star, Sam Rice (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)