Panthers cruise to 5-2 victory over Cougars

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Victoria Cougars_Logo

November 9, 2013, NORTH SAANICH, B.C. (ISN) – Wade Johnson and Jordan Marciniak returned to the Victoria Cougars lineup but it wasn’t nearly enough as the hometown Peninsula Panthers cruised to a 5-2 victory Friday night.

The injury-plagued Cougars, who were still missing as many as six players, led 2-1 after 20 minutes before Peninsula stormed back to score two goals in the second period and two more in the final frame.

Stephen Heslop was solid in between the pipes for the Panthers. His best save came against John Kretzschmar on a scramble in front of the net with 4:50 remaining in regulation. The score was 4-2 in favour of Peninsula up to that point. Heslop, who turned aside 27 shots, prevented Victoria from getting back into the game with several timely saves.

Now winless in three games, the Cougars (14-3-1-1) were again without the services of Blake Roney, Mark Walton, Michael Fretz, Nicholas Bower, Jordan Davie, and Nick Lyons.

With several of its top-six forwards out of commission, Victoria got off to an ominous start.

Penalties to Joe Gauthier and Patrick Webb 32 seconds apart put the home side on a two-man advantage. 22 seconds into the power play, Matthew Sheeran ripped a shot from the slot beating Connor Beauchamp at 7:48.

Jake Daughtry tied the game at 14:31 with a sharp angle shot that surprised everyone inside the Panorama Recreation Centre.

51 seconds later, David Marshall gave the Cougars the lead after banging home a Graham Zagrodney rebound. The goal was the second in as many games for Marshall.

There was no scoring until the 10:14 mark of the second period when a shot from the top of the right hand faceoff circle from defenseman Sean Buchanan knotted the score at 2-2.

Connor Logan then scored the go-ahead goal at 12:37.

The Panthers (10-8-2-1), who extended their win streak to two games, doubled their lead at 8:13 of the third period on another goal by Buchanan. From just inside the blue line, Buchanan scored his eye-popping ninth goal when his shot deflected off Beauchamp and in.

Both Logan and Buchanan are sure bets to play Junior A next season.

Zack Smith sealed the deal for Peninsula by scoring into an empty net with 72 seconds left.

The Panthers outshot Victoria 36-29, marking the first time this season the Cougars have allowed more shots against than shots for in a game.

And for the second straight game, Victoria failed to score on the power play. The Cougars, who went 0-for-6, have now gone 14 straight man advantages without scoring a goal.

Peninsula went 1-for-6 with the man advantage.

In Saanich, Jack Surgenor stopped all 28 shots and Aaron Brewer scored three times to lead the Campbell River Storm to an 8-0 win over the Braves.

And in Courtenay, Duncan Pernal finished with three goals and one assists as the Comox Valley Glacier Kings defeated the visiting Oceanside Generals 8-2.

Next game for Victoria is Wednesday, November 13 against the Westshore Wolves. Game time at Bear Mountain Arena, located at 1767 Island Highway, is 7:00 p.m.

THREE STARS:

  • 1st star, Sean Buchanan (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
  • 2nd star, Stephen Heslop (Saves: 27, Save Percentage: .931)
  • 3rd star, Spencer Loverock (Goals: 0, Assists: 3)

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