By Dave Burgess
October 3, 2013, VICTORIA, BC. – The Victoria Cougars (8-0-0-0) hosted the Oceanside Generals (1-7-1-1) Thursday and came away with another win, dropping the Generals 8-2.
Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, was 7:00 p.m.
This was the first of four meetings between the two clubs and Michael Fretz, who has 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in 8 games for the Cougars, faced his former team for the first time since being dealt to Victoria during the offseason. The Generals, who received Kelyn Opel in return, have since traded the six-foot-one, 160-pound forward to the North Peace Navigators of the North West Junior League in exchange for cash and the playing rights to Jordan Clark.
Oceanside entered tonight’s game with a league low 2.8 goals per game, and only 1 win in 10 tries. While the Cougars countered with a league high 5.5 goals per game, and are undefeated in 8 games this season. Oceanside was in tough as they entered the Arch as huge underdogs.
The first period went exactly as expected. The Cougars dominated the opening frame, out shooting the Generals 18-3. Oceanside had 2 power play opportunities and couldn’t muster a shot on either. The scoring in the first period went entirly in the Cougars favour, as Victoria left the ice after 1 leading 3-0. Ryan Carson got the scoring started early, at 1:13 (assists to Wade Johnson and Patrick Webb). 5 minutes later on the power play, Cougar Captain Mark Walton adds his own marker at 6:10 (assists to Graham Zagrodney and Wade Johnson). Rounding out the scoring from the opening frame was a wicked tip out front by Blake Roney at 15:22 (assist to Thomas Sercombe).
The second period was much the same, but Oceanside showed for a few minutes at the start of the period, that they do indeed have what it takes to compete with a team like Victoria as they controlled much of the first few minutes. It didn’t take long, though, for Victoria to show the crowd here why they are the 2 time defending champions as Cam Mackay potted his first as a Cougar at the 3:33 mark (assists to Graham Zagrodney and Marino Somerville). Then just 1 minute and 9 seconds later at 4:42 Ryan Carson continued his hot streak by grabbing a power play goal to make it 5-0 in the Cougars favour (assists to Nicholas Bower and Patrick Webb). Oceanside would grab one of their own on the power play later in the second at the 16:55 mark, when Brodie Smith danced his way past the Cougar defence and slid a backhander past Hargrave (assist to Wyatt Meiers). Shots at the end of 2 periods were 35-10 for Victoria.
The third period looked to be leaning towards the Generals early as Domenic Kolbeins scored only 1:15 into the frame to cut the Cougars lead to 3. The Cougars would have none of it, and at 6:48 on the power play David Marshall would get his first of two (assists to Wade Johnson and Graham Zagrodney). Marshall would get his second power play goal of the game at the 15:00 mark to make the lead 7-2 (assists to Michael Fretz and Mark Walton). Michael Fretz would add another and the 8th Cougar goal of the game at 17:17 (assist to Ryan Carson). Final score: 8-2 for Victoria.
Coach Mark Van Helvoirt said it wasn’t the prettiest game, but they got the job done. A much harder test on Sunday awaits Victoria, as the Westshore Wolves come to the Archie Browning Sports Centre, puck drop is at 3pm. You can catch the broadcast live on FASTHockey at 245pm.