by Peter Kung
December 11, 2013, Victoria (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars (23-4-1-1) play host to the Campbell River Storm (17-7-2-2) tomorrow. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
Victoria and Storm are the hottest teams in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League right now. In their last ten games, the Cougars are 9-1-0-0 while Campbell River is 8-0-1-1.
Both teams are also on winning streaks. Victoria has won its last three games while the Storm has won two in a row.
Revenge will be on the minds of the Cougars as Campbell River is the only team this season to venture into the A.B.S.C. and come out with a win.
In that game, played back on November 3, the Storm beat Victoria 5-3. Despite getting outshot 34-22, Brendan deVries, Jordan Kamprath, Colin Blake, Stephan Hawco, and Brayden Taekema all managed to find the back of the net.
Goalie Jack Surgenor was brilliant in the win.
Near the bottom of the standings over the past three years, Campbell River finds itself tied for first place with the Nanaimo Buccaneers in the North Island Division. The Storm has one game in hand on Nanaimo and will use it tomorrow.
As of Sunday, Campbell River was ranked No. 9 amongst all 32 Junior B teams in British Columbia.
deVries, Taekema, and Surgenor have been godsends for the Storm.
Four months after acquiring deVries and Taekema from the Sicamous Eagles of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and three months after acquiring Surgenor in another deal with Sicamous, Campbell River Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Lee Stone looks like a genius.
deVries leads the VIJHL in scoring with 52 points; Taekema sits fourth in league scoring with 41 points; and Surgenor has posted five shutouts in his last seven games which include back-to-back goose eggs.
It is an important weekend for the Storm. After its game against Victoria, Campbell River will host Nanaimo on Friday before travelling to Parksville for a game against the cellar dwelling Oceanside Generals to complete a stretch of three games in three nights.
The Cougars picked up their most recent victory against the Kerry Park Islanders on Sunday.
Liam Carradine and Jordan Davie scored for Victoria who won 2-0. Goalie Nathan Hargrave posted his first shutout of the season after turning aside all 16 shots.
Offense has not been problematic for the Cougars in recent games. During its three-game win streak, Victoria has outscored its opposition 19-3.
Leading the way for the Cougars offensively is Blake Roney who is tied for fifth place in league scoring with 40 points. With 39 points and ranked eighth in league scoring is defenseman Graham Zagrodney.
After their rubber match with the Storm, Victoria travels to Saanich on Friday before returning home on Sunday to take on the Westshore Wolves.
The Cougars beat Campbell River 2-0 on Sep. 27.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 48 points, South Island Division. Campbell River – T1st place, 38 points, North Island Division
OFFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 5.07 goals for per game. Campbell River – 2nd place, 4.43 goals for per game
DEFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 2.00 goals against per game. Campbell River – 2nd place, 2.68 goals against per game
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Blake Roney, 22 goals; Graham Zagrodney, 34 assists; Blake Roney, 40 points; Jake Daughtry, 50 penalty minutes. Campbell River – Brayden Taekema, 23 goals; Brendan deVries, 33 assists; Brendan deVries, 52 points; Alex Brewer, 69 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Nathan Hargrave (1.77 goals against average, .924 save percentage); Connor Beauchamp (2.04 goals against average, .911 save percentage). Campbell River – Griffin Baillie (2.01 goals against average, .940 save percentage); Jack Surgenor (2.09 goals against average, .930 save percentage)
POWER PLAY: Victoria – 1st place, 53-for-189, 28.04 percent. Campbell River – 2nd place, 33-for-163, 20.25 percent
PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 2nd place, 124-for-136, 91.18 percent. Campbell River – 1st place, 130-for-140, 92.86 percent
SEASON SERIES: Series tied, 1-1-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
- September 27, 2013. Victoria Cougars 2 @ Campbell River Storm 0
- November 3, 2013. Campbell River Storm 5 @ Victoria Cougars 3
- February 14, 2014. Victoria Cougars @ Campbell River Storm
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 13-1-0-0. Campbell River – Away, 7-2-2-2
STREAKS: Victoria, W3. Campbell River, W2
LAST TEN: Victoria, 9-1-0-0. Campbell River, 8-0-1-1