Robert Zadra leads Cougars to 4-1 victory in Nanaimo

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Victoria Cougars_Logo

by Peter Kung

January 26, 2014, Nanaimo (ISN) – The last time Victoria played at the Frank Crane Arena, Dan Foglietta scored two goals as the Nanaimo Buccaneers downed the Cougars in a four-round shootout.

This time around it would be Robert Zadra who would be the one scoring twice; leading Victoria to a 4-1 victory on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Hub City.

Playing their second game in less than 24 hours, the Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 second period lead after the two teams skated to a scoreless draw in the opening 20 minutes.

Things would get dicey pretty fast for Victoria after Garrett Brandsma gave Nanaimo life early in the third period. Penalties to Jake Stolz at 1:17, Graham Zagrodney at 3:15, Jordan Marciniak at 9:54, and Sam McMullen at 18:26 would give the Buccaneers an abundance of power play chances.

But the Cougars showed why they lead the league in penalty-kill efficiency.

Nanaimo went 1-for-7 with the man advantage.

Wade Johnson and Zagrodney also scored for Victoria (32-8-1-1) who won its fifth game in a row.

Zagrodney also posted a season-high four points. Held pointless against the Buccaneers back on Jan. 12, the offensive-minded defenseman now has 11 points in his last four games.

After a scoreless 20 minutes, Johnson broke the deadlock at 1:58 of the second period. Taking a feed from Zagrodney, Johnson wired the puck behind Jackson Jane from the top of the right faceoff circle.

Watching the proceedings from the penalty box was Thor Rosback who had one minute and 41-seconds remaining in his cross-checking penalty.

Then at 4:23, Blake Roney created a turnover which allowed Zadra to gobble up a loose puck in the slot and rifle it past Jane for his first of two goals.

The Cougars went ahead 3-0 after Zagrodney banged home a rebound off a Roney shot at 13:46.

A holding penalty to Stolz 77 seconds into the third period put Nanaimo on its fourth power play of the afternoon.

Nathan Hargrave would lose his shutout bid when Brandsma ripped a one-timer past him at 2:09.

Victoria restored its three-goal lead just over 11 minutes later when Zadra took an aerial pass from Zagrodney at the Buccaneers blue line, fended off a defender, skated in and made a deke on Jane before sliding the puck into the open cage for his eighth goal of the season.

Shots on goal favoured the Cougars 27-23.

Nanaimo (22-17-2-1) lost for the sixth time in seven games.

There was no rest for Buccaneers defenseman Jake Calverley and forward Garrett Dunlop. Both players were called up by the Nanaimo Clippers for their BCHL game against the Powell River Kings.

Nanaimo won 4-3 in double overtime on an unassisted goal by Brendan Taylor.

In other games around the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League: Peninsula Panthers 5, Oceanside Generals 2. Campbell River Storm 3, Comox Valley Glacier Kings 2.

Next game for Victoria is Thursday, January 30 against the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.

THREE STARS:

1st star, Robert Zadra (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)

2nd star, Garrett Brandsma (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)

3rd star, Graham Zagrodney (Goals: 1, Assists: 3)

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