November 3, 2013, Victoria (INS) – The Victoria Cougars (14-1-1-1) host the Campbell River Storm (8-7-1-1) this afternoon. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 3:30 p.m.
This afternoon’s game marks the second of four meetings between the two non-divisional rivals. On Sep. 27, Victoria blanked the hometown Storm in front of a near capacity crowd at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
Connor Beauchamp was lights out making 27 saves for his second shutout of the season. Since that game, the Nanton, Alberta native has gone on to record three more goose eggs and currently leads all goaltenders in shutouts with five.
Scoring both goals for Victoria was Ryan Carson.
Over the last three weeks, the Cougars have been dealing with a rash of injuries. In Wednesday night’s 3-3 tie with the Westshore Wolves, as many as six regulars were out of the lineup. Watching the game from the stands were Mark Walton, Michael Fretz, Nicolas Bower, Wade Johnson, Jordan Marciniak, and Liam Carradine.
Between Walton, Fretz, and Bower, those three players alone have accounted for 27 of Victoria’s 88 goals scored.
Jordan Davie returned to the lineup after missing three games but was not 100 percent physically.
With a decimated offensive corps, Cougars’ head coach Mark Van Helvoirt used defensemen Robert Zadra, Howard Howden, and John Kretzschmar up front. All three players handled their new role admirably – especially Zadra.
Now considered a threat at both ends of the ice, Zadra had one of Victoria’s three goals on Wednesday. Carson and Jake Daughtry had the others.
Campbell River makes its first visit to the A.B.S.C. where it has not won since Jan. 8, 2009.
But that was then and this is now.
Storm head coach Lee Stone has been quietly putting together a contender. Right now, Campbell River sits seven points back of the second-place Comox Valley Glacier Kings with four games in hand.
The Storm is coming off a pair of one-goal losses to the North Island Division leading Nanaimo Buccaneers.
Brendan deVries is trying to do what no Campbell River player has done since Karl Hagg did it back in 2009-10 and that is to win a league scoring title. DeVries, acquired along with Brayden Taekema from the Sicamous Eagles of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League during the offseason, is tied for the league lead with 30 points in 16 games.
Meanwhile, Taekema sits tied for second with 28 points.
The Storm was active this past week, acquiring forward Braydon Horcoff from the Princeton Posse and forward Dom Kolbeins from Sicamous in two separate deals. Horcoff should somewhat be familiar with Victoria fans as he was part of the Castlegar Rebels team that won the bronze medal at the 2013 Cyclone Taylor Cup.
Goaltender Jack Surgenor was an 18-game winner for Sicamous last year before getting traded to the Storm in mid-September.
Only Jordan Kamprath, Colin Blake, Josiah Friesen, and Jordan Rauser return from last year.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 30 points, South Island Division. Campbell River – 3rd place, 18 points, North Island Division
OFFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 5.18 goals for per game. Campbell River – 4th place, 3.88 goals for per game
DEFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 1.82 goals against per game. Campbell River – 3rd place, 3.35 goals against per game
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Mark Walton, 12 goals; Graham Zagrodney, 20 assists; Blake Roney, 24 points; Jake Daughtry, 46 penalty minutes. Campbell River – Brendan deVries, Brayden Taekema, 14 goals; Brendan deVries, 16 assists; Brendan deVries, 30 points; Alex Brewer, 47 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Connor Beauchamp (1.62 goals against average, .932 save percentage); Nathan Hargrave (2.16 goals against average, .910 save percentage). Campbell River – Jack Surgenor (2.68 goals against average, .915 save percentage); Griffin Baillie (no appearances)
POWER PLAY: Victoria – 1st place, 35-for-123, 28.46 percent. Campbell River – 4th place, 18-for-107, 16.82 percent
PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 3rd place, 77-for-85, 90.59 percent. Campbell River – 1st place, 80-for-87, 91.95 percent
SEASON SERIES: Victoria leads, 1-0-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
- September 27, 2013. Victoria Cougars 2 @ Campbell River Storm 0
- December 12, 2013. Campbell River Storm @ Victoria Cougars
- February 14, 2014. Victoria Cougars @ Campbell River Storm
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 9-0-0-0. Campbell River – Away, 3-2-1-1
STREAKS: Victoria, T1. Campbell River, L2
LAST TEN: Victoria, 7-1-1-1. Campbell River, 5-4-1-0