Cougars run into a hot goalie in loss

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Victoria Cougars_Logo

by Peter Kung

December 21, 2013, Colwood (ISN) – Matt Chester stopped all 40 shots he faced as the Westshore Wolves blanked the Victoria Cougars 1-0 on a drizzly Saturday afternoon.

Scoring the lone goal was Kyle Peterson who at the 11:45 mark of the third period ripped a shot from just inside the blue line that eluded Victoria goaltender Nathan Hargrave.

The Wolves (13-14-3-5) have now won two in a row and moved to within four points of the idle Peninsula Panthers for second place in the South Island Division.

Chester turned aside 12 shots in the third period which included robbing Ryan Carson on a 3-on-1 rush with a dozen minutes remaining and the score still at a stalemate. For Chester, it was his first shutout since September 5, 2012.

The Jekyll and Hyde personality continues for the Cougars (26-6-1-1).

After a 10-1 blowout win over the Saanich Braves last game, Victoria has now been shutout in two of its last four contests.

From the get go, it looked like whoever was going to score first was probably going to win the game.

And that team proved to be Westshore.

Things got hairy for the Wolves in the last minute as Victoria emptied the net and threw out an extra attacker.

With the faceoff to the right of Chester, Blake Roney won the draw back to Graham Zagrodney whose point shot deflected off a body and wide. And during the same shift, David Marshall was stopped point blank.

Marshall got another chance to redeem himself in the dying seconds but his shot from the bottom corner of the faceoff circle missed the net.

And as the buzzer sounded to end the game, Chester was mobbed by his teammates in celebration.

The Cougars, who outshot Westshore 12-9 in the first period, 16-8 in the second, and 12-6 in the third, created good scoring opportunities and out-chanced their division rival but ran into a hot goalie.

Special teams were nothing special. Victoria went 0-for-5; meanwhile, the Wolves went 0-for-4.

Hargrave, named the game’s third star, made 22 saves.

The Cougars now have 13 days off to find a way to get back on track.

Next game for Victoria is Saturday, January 4 against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Game time at the Comox Valley Sports Centre, located at 3001 Vanier Drive, is 7:30 p.m.

THREE STARS:

1st star, Matt Chester (Saves: 40, Save Percentage: 1.000)

2nd star, Kyle Peterson (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)

3rd star, Nathan Hargrave (Saves: 22, Save Percentage: .957)

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