March 25, 2013, (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars host the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in Game 2 of the VIJHL Finals on Tuesday night. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 6:30 p.m.
Victoria, who scored four unanswered second period goals, drew first blood in its best-of-seven series following a 6-3 win last Saturday.
Sam Rice scored three times while Wade Johnson, Nathan Chen-Mack, and Matthew Ho each added singles. In net for the Cougars was Evan Roch who stopped 18 shots for his eighth win of the playoffs.
Replying for Comox Valley was Jack Kennelly, Andrew Pond, and Brandon Halls. Goaltender Michael Hails took the loss after making 23-of-29 saves.
Penalties were problematic for the Glacier Kings who spent a good chunk of Game 1 in the sin bin. Victoria went 3-for-13 on the power play.
After starting the series at home, Comox Valley now has the arduous task of playing the next two games at the A.B.S.C. where the Cougars have lost only once this season.
The Glacier Kings played an almost perfect first period on Saturday until the middle frame proved to be the difference maker.
Hails, who was a star for Comox Valley in their series with the Nanaimo Buccaneers, had his worst game of the season since being acquired from the Creston Valley Thunder Cats of the KIJHL back in late October. The five-foot-nine, 170-pound goaltender was replaced by Bryce Di Rocco after Victoria’s fifth goal but returned to the game at the beginning of the third period.
Although Hails cannot be entirely faulted for the loss; the Glacier Kings could only muster 21 shots on goal. Comox Valley, however, rang the puck off the iron two times in the third period.
Kennelly, who leads all Glacier Kings players in playoff scoring with 15 points, has been a force since Game 4 of the Nanaimo series. In his last four games, the 20-year-old native of Port Alice, B.C. has racked up four goals and six assists.
Comox Valley will also need Tyson Rennie to keep doing what he has been doing. Rennie, who only returned from an injury on Mar. 14, has five points in three games.
Victoria looks win its first Game 2 of the playoffs. After taking Game 1 in each of their two previous series, the Cougars dropped Game 2 against the Peninsula Panthers and the Saanich Braves.
But Victoria is playing on home ice where they have a 6-0 record in the postseason.
The Cougars are led by their top line of Brody Coulter, Dane Feeney, and Rice. On Saturday, the trio combined for five points.
Facing a team not wanting to go down 2-0 in the series, Roch will need to be playing at an elite level. At home, the six-foot-two, 190-pound goaltender has a 2.00 goals against average and a .924 save percentage in five games.
Game 3 goes Thursday night in Victoria.
Cyclone Taylor Cup tickets will be available at Tuesday’s and Thursday’s game.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Victoria – Eliminated Peninsula Panthers, 4-1. Eliminated Saanich Braves, 4-1. Comox Valley – Eliminated Oceanside Generals, 4-0. Eliminated Nanaimo Buccaneers, 4-2
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Brody Coulter, 12 goals; Dane Feeney, 17 assists; Dane Feeney, 26 points; Robert Zadra, 44 penalty minutes. Comox Valley – Rylan Ball, 10 goals; Andrew White, 12 assists; Jack Kennelly, 15 points; Calvin Hadley, 31 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Evan Roch (2.63 goals against average, .893 save percentage); Michael Herringer (0.69 goals against average, .971 save percentage). Comox Valley – Michael Hails (2.55 goals against average, .899 save percentage); Bryce Di Rocco (0.00 goals against average, 1.000 save percentage)
POWER PLAY: Victoria – 32/86, 37.2 per cent. Comox Valley – 15/61, 24.6 per cent
PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 56/62, 90.3 per cent. Comox Valley – 55/64, 85.9 per cent
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
Game 1. March 23, 2013. Victoria Cougars 6 @ Comox Valley Glacier Kings 3
Game 3. March 28, 2013. Comox Valley Glacier Kings @ Victoria Cougars
Game 4. March 30, 2013. Victoria Cougars @ Comox Valley Glacier Kings
Game 5 (if necessary). March 31, 2013. Comox Valley Glacier Kings @ Victoria Cougars
Game 6 (if necessary). April 2, 2013. Victoria Cougars @ Comox Valley Glacier Kings
Game 7 (if necessary). April 3, 2013. Comox Valley Glacier Kings @ Victoria Cougars
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 6-0. Away, 3-2. Comox Valley – Home, 4-2. Away, 4-1
STREAKS: Victoria – Won 1. Comox Valley – Lost 1
LAST TEN: Victoria, 8-2. Comox Valley, 7-3