October 31, 2013, COLWOOD, B.C. (ISN) – Mark Van Helvoirt can only hope that the nasty injury bug that has plagued his team does not turn into a full blown epidemic. With as many as five regulars sidelined, the injury-riddled Cougars managed to limp their way to a 3-3 draw with the Westshore Wolves Wednesday night at Bear Mountain Arena.
Ryan Carson, Robert Zadra, and Jake Daughtry scored for Victoria whose forward corps has been hit the hardest. It is so bad that Zadra, Howard Howden, and John Kretzschmar, all natural defensemen, had to play up front.
On the bright side, the Cougars (14-1-1-1) extended their unbeaten streak to three games.
Already playing without the services of Mark Walton, Michael Fretz, Nicolas Bower, Wade Johnson, and Jordan Marciniak , Victoria lost its leading scorer Blake Roney to an upper-body injury early in the third period.
Roney did not return.
The Cougars did get Jordan Davie back after missing the last three games. However, the five-foot-eleven, 195-pound power forward was not 100 percent physically.
Carson opened the scoring when he converted a centering pass from Roney at 1:51 of the first period. The goal, which was the ninth of the season for Carson, was scored on the power play.
Westshore (8-8-2-2) responded later in the period with a power play goal from Thomas Strocel at the 16:27 mark. And with the PA announcer still in the midst of announcing the goal, Brett Lervold gave the hometown Wolves a 2-1 lead only 16 seconds later.
Zadra, who was named the game’s second star, tied the contest with the only goal of the second period. On the power play, Zadra took a pass from Roney before threading the puck between the goal post and the right arm of goaltender Matt Chester.
Victoria then took a 3-2 lead at 2:22 of the third period on a goal from Daughtry.
The lead was short lived when Connor Krupa tied the game at three apiece less than two minutes later.
A penalty to David Marshall with one minute and 54-seconds remaining in regulation put the Wolves on the power play. Westshore came close to pulling out the win and the upset. After the botched attempt, Spencer Preece slammed his stick on the ice in frustration.
Two five-minute overtime periods settled nothing despite a good number of quality chances from both teams.
Chester stopped 54 shots while Nathan Hargrave made 36 saves.
The Cougars went 2-for-6 with the man advantage and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill.
Wednesday’s encounter is the third of eight meetings between the two South Island Division rivals. Victoria won 10-0 on Sep. 8 and 7-0 on Oct. 6.
Next game for the Cougars is Sunday, November 3 against the Campbell River Storm. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 3:30 p.m.
1st star, Matt Chester (Saves: 54, Save Percentage: .947)
2nd star, Robert Zadra (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)
3rd star, Brett Lervold (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)