by Peter Kung, Photos: Kasey Eriksen
January 10, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – After going 123 minutes and 31-seconds without a goal, the Victoria Cougars lit the lamp four times in the first period en route to a 7-1 win over the Kerry Park Islanders on a rainy and windy Thursday night.
11 Victoria skaters got onto the score sheet which was highlighted by three-point performances from Jordan Davie and Graham Zagrodney.
Thursday night’s matchup was Andrei Marti’s first Cougars game. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
The Cougars (27-7-1-1), who had been shut out in their last two games, led 4-0 after one period and 5-0 after two.
The Cougars skate onto the ice. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Davie opened the scoring with his first of two goals after he banged home a juicy rebound 2:03 into the game.
Players scramble for the puck. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Then at 5:16, Davie muscled his way towards the Kerry Park net and shoveled the puck past Leighton Williams for his 11th goal of the season. Assisting on the goal was Jake Daughtry who returned to lineup after missing the last three games because of a lower body injury.
Cougars’ Graham Zagrodney gets slammed into the boards. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
The new-look Islanders (13-19-1-4) went on the penalty kill for the second time in the game after referee Jarrett Taylor assessed Brendan Gowanlock a two-minute minor for slashing at 10:35.
Players keep their eyes on the puck. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
64 seconds into the penalty, Robert Zadra scored from in close to give Victoria a 3-0 lead.
Face-off between Jamie Jensen and Marino Somerville. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
A holding penalty late in the period to Tyler Fraser resulted in another Cougars power play. 51 seconds later, Blake Roney used a Kerry Park defender as a screen before twinkling the twine at 18:26.
Kerry Park’s goaltender Leighton Williams keeps the puck out. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Entrenched in fourth place in the South Island Division and seventh place overall in the nine-team Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, Kerry Park dealt Tylor Branzsen and their leading scorer Alex Milligan to the Peninsula Panthers in exchange for Nick Kean and Adam Page as early as two days ago.
The Islanders’ Jordan Coyne dives for the puck. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
In addition, Taylor Armbruster and 17-year-old phenom Braedon Cross were signed by Trail of the British Columbia Hockey League at the beginning of the New Year and will remain with the Smoke Eaters for the remainder of the season.
Islanders’ goaltender Leighton Williams gets himself involved. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Between Branzsen, Milligan, Armbruster, and Cross, those four players had accounted for over 40 percent of the Islanders goals.
Tyler Fraser battles Nyshan Basra for the puck. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
And with the lack of star power, Kerry Park was simply overmatched and overwhelmed.
In the second period, Victoria continued to come at the Islanders at full throttle.
Both teams watch the action from their benches. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
The Cougars increased their lead to 5-0 on a delayed penalty. Circling behind the Kerry Park net and using his body to shield the puck away from oncoming defenders, John Kretzschmar centered the biscuit out to Bower who beat Williams with a one-timer at 6:53.
Cougars’ goaltender, Nathan Hargrave prepares himself. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Late in the middle frame, Michael Fretz was stopped on a breakaway by Williams.
Mark Walton made it 6-0 at 9:49 of the third period after converting a Zagrodney rebound into a goal.
Then at 16:01, David Marshall scored from Wade Johnson and Zagrodney. Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Cody Short who had 56 seconds remaining in his cross-checking penalty.
A deflection from Ryan Paisley with less than a minute to play in regulation and the Islanders on a power play, ruined Nathan Hargrave’s bid for his second shutout of the season.
Despite the blip, Hargrave lowered his goals against average from 1.76 to a league-low 1.70.
The Cougars outshot Kerry Park 18-4 in the first period, 12-3 in the second, and 15-7 in the third for a game total of 45-14.
Special teams were just that. Victoria went 3-for-5 with the man advantage; meanwhile, the Islanders went 1-for-3.
In Nanaimo, Brendan DeVries and Brayden Taekema scored three goals apiece as the Campbell River Storm blew out the hometown Buccaneers 11-3.
Next game for Victoria is Friday, January 10 against the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Panorama Recreation Centre, located at 1885 Forest Park Drive, is 7:30 p.m.
The Panthers have won five in a row including ten straight games on home ice.
1st star, Jake Daughtry (Goals: 0, Assists: 2)
2nd star, Graham Zagrodney (Goals: 0, Assists: 3)
3rd star, Jordan Davie (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)