Cougars Take Charge Over Islanders

76

Peter Kung

September 23, 2013, Mill Bay, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars scored three second period power play goals en route to a 5-1 win over the Kerry Park Islanders on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

With the win, Victoria improved to 6-0-0-0 on the season and kept pace with the North Island Division leading Nanaimo Buccaneers as the only two undefeated clubs in the nine-team Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

Mark Walton led the attack with a pair of goals; scoring his first at even strength and then notching his team leading seventh goal on a two-man advantage at 6:08 of the middle frame to put the Cougars up 4-0.

Also scoring for Victoria, who went 4-for-8 on the power play, were David Marshall, Graham Zagrodney, and Jordan Davie.

Nathan Hargrave got the start in net and turned aside 20 shots for his first win of the season.

The Cougars opened the scoring at 8:27 of the first period. With one minute and 24-seconds remaining in David Bittner’s boarding penalty, Marshall took a pass from Wade Johnson, cut towards the net, and fired the puck past Islanders’ goalie Jackson Jane for his third goal of the season.

Exactly nine minutes later, Walton converted a 4-on-2 break with John Kretzschmar.

That goal extended Walton’s point streak to a team high six games.

Kerry Park, who was playing its second game in less than 24 hours, managed only five first period shots on Hargrave.

A hooking penalty at the 24 second mark of the middle frame put Victoria back on the power play. And with 46 seconds remaining in Matt Grant’s infraction, Zagrodney beat Jane with a wrist shot from the blue line.

Frustrations began to mount for the Islanders when Bittner and Grant took penalties 15 seconds apart. Playing 5-on-3, Walton tipped home Johnson’s shot.

And with 47 seconds left in Grant’s slashing penalty, Davie gave the Cougars a 5-0 lead after redirecting Patrick Webb’s point shot past Jane.

Hargrave, who was victimized during a mad scramble in his crease, had his shutout bid ruined by Tylor Branzsen with 20.8 seconds remaining in the period.

There was no scoring in the third period as Victoria signed, sealed, and delivered its sixth victory in as many games.

However, with three minutes remaining in regulation, Hargrave got the crowd oohing and aahing after he slid across the crease and got his glove on Ryan Paisley’s one-timer to keep the game a four-goal margin.

At the end of the game, Kerry Park defenseman Tyler Fraser received a five minute major for cross-checking and a game misconduct.

Jane finished the night with 43 saves.

The Islanders, who went 0-for-6 with the man advantage, played without offensive catalyst Kyle Peterson. The feisty 20-year-old forward was recently dealt to the Westshore Wolves.

The loss dropped Kerry Park to 1-5-0-1.

Next game for the Cougars is Thursday, September 26 against the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.

If you are unable make it to the game in-person, log onto www.fasthockey.com and tune in to Jordan Smith and Tom Arlidge for live play-by-play coverage.

THREE STARS:

1st star, Taylor Armbruster (Goals: 0, Assists: 0)

2nd star, Braedan Cross (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)

3rd star, Mark Walton (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)

 

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