Victoria Cougars Go For Gold


Peter Kung 

April 4, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Junior hockey is alive and well on Vancouver Island. The VIJHL champion Victoria Cougars, along with the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, are the last two remaining junior teams on Vancouver Island still left standing.

On April 11, 2013, Victoria will join the KIJHL champion Castlegar Rebels, PJHL champion Richmond Sockeyes, and host Glacier Kings in Courtenay, B.C. for the 47th edition of the Cyclone Taylor Cup.

The winner of the Cyclone Taylor Cup will then travel to St. Malo, Man. for the Keystone Cup beginning Apr. 18.

Spearheaded by head coach Mark Van Helvoirt, the Cougars went 12-2 in the playoffs but not before going an astonishing 45-1-2 during the regular season.

In the VIJHL Finals, Victoria completed a four game sweep of Comox Valley.

Since their inception into the VIJHL 14 years ago, the Cougars have been South Island Division Regular Season Champions six times, South Island Division Playoff Champions seven times, Vancouver Island Regular Season Champions four times, Vancouver Island Playoff Champions five times, and have won bronze, silver, and gold in three Cyclone Taylor Cup appearances.

A number of those players who won championships for Victoria have gone on to play professionally.

Brandon Wong (Greenville Road Warriors, ECHL), Justin Courtnall (South Carolina Stingrays, ECHL), Garry Nunn (Alaska Aces, ECHL), and Dan Gendur (Rapid City Rush, CHL) are all making a niche for themselves.

In addition, schooling also plays a prominent role in the Cougars program. As many as five players from last year’s team received hockey scholarships to various schools across Canada and the United States.

Zack Currie, who played one year for Victoria before signing on with the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the BCHL, is currently playing at Quinnipiac University and is two wins away from a national championship.

In preparation for the Cyclone Taylor Cup, the Cougars will have two more practices before departing for Courtenay on April 10, 2013.

The practice schedule is as follows:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bear Mountain Arena

1767 Island Highway

12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bear Mountain Arena

1767 Island Highway

12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.