March 10, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars will attempt to earn a berth in the VIJHL Finals for the sixth time in seven years when they play host the Saanich Braves this afternoon.
Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 3:00 p.m.
Victoria leads the best-of-seven South Island Division Finals 3-1 following wins in Games 1, 3, and 4.
Brody Coulter and Sam Rice potted two goals each in Friday’s 4-1 victory at the George R. Pearkes Community Recreation Centre. Dane Feeney, who leads all skaters in playoff scoring with 23 points, collected three assists.
Evan Roch made 22 saves in the win.
The Braves, who loaded up by acquiring Max Mois (Westshore Wolves), Cole Golka (Peninsula Panthers), Justin Polischuk (Victoria Grizzlies – BCHL), Nolan Kinney (Kerry Park Islanders), and Chad Roorda during the regular season in hopes for a long playoff run, are in a must-win situation.
Already without leading scorer Ty Jones who is out indefinitely after sustaining a lower body injury in Game 1 of the Westshore series, may again be without goaltender Tanner McGaw this afternoon.
Bowman Rutledge played Friday after McGaw suffered a lower body injury in Game 3.
Through four games, the Cougars have outscored Saanich 19-11 and hold a 151-107 edge in shots on goal.
Victoria’s power play, so good for so long, has somewhat dried up after going 0-for-10 in its last two games.
The team to score first through Games 1 through 4 has won.
After going 23-1-0 at the A.B.S.C. during the regular season, Victoria is perfect on home ice in the playoffs at 5-0. The Braves had a 16-6-2 mark on the road this year and is 3-2 away from the G.R.P.C.R.C. this postseason.
If necessary, Game 6 will go Wednesday night in Saanich.
The North Island Division Finals has the Nanaimo Buccaneers leading 2-1 in their series versus the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Game 4 goes Tuesday in Courtenay.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Victoria – Eliminated Peninsula Panthers, 4-1. Saanich – Eliminated Westshore Wolves, 4-2
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Brody Coulter, 11 goals; Dane Feeney, Sam Rice, 15 assists; Dane Feeney, 23 points; Robert Zadra, 40 penalty minutes. Saanich – Max Mois, 9 goals; Max Mois, Josh Gray, 7 assists; Max Mois, 16 points; Jordan Groenheyde, 40 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Evan Roch (2.66 goals against average, .892 save percentage); Michael Herringer (0.69 goals against average, .971 save percentage). Saanich – Tanner McGaw (3.67 goals against average, .898 save percentage); Bowman Rutledge (3.64 goals against average, .852 save percentage)
POWER PLAY: Victoria – 26/69, 37.7 percent. Saanich – 7/66, 10.6 percent
PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 46/51, 90.2 percent. Saanich – 54/65, 83.1 percent
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
Game 1. March 3, 2013. Saanich Braves 1 @ Victoria Cougars 5
Game 2. March 4, 2013. Victoria Cougars 4 @ Saanich Braves 6
Game 3. March 7, 2013. Saanich Braves 3 @ Victoria Cougars 6
Game 4. March 8, 2013. Victoria Cougars 4 @ Saanich Braves 1
Game 6 (if necessary). March 13, 2013. Victoria Cougars @ Saanich Braves
Game 7 (if necessary). March 14, 2013. Saanich Braves @ Victoria Cougars
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 5-0. Away, 2-2. Saanich – Home, 2-3. Away, 3-2
STREAKS: Victoria, WON 2. Saanich, LOST 2