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by Peter Kung, Photos: Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

February 21, 2014, Esquimalt (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars drew first blood in their first-round, best-of-seven playoff series with the Kerry Park Islanders on Thursday night.

Michael Fretz scored four goals and Patrick Webb added five assists to lead Victoria to a 10-1 thrashing in front of 200 at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.

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Victoria Cougars after a goal is scored. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Kerry Park was no match for the high-flying Cougars who scored five goals in the first period and then added four more in the middle frame to grab a 9-1 lead entering the second intermission.

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Connor Beauchamp gets rid of the puck before anything can come of it. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Francis Slicer was the lone goal scorer for the Islanders.

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Preparing for the faceoff. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

14 different players hit the score sheet for Victoria which included a three-point performance from Blake Roney and two-point efforts by Robert Zadra and Liam Carradine.

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Time-out. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Immediately following the opening faceoff, there were no stoppages for the first four minutes and 16-seconds. And during that time, the Cougars had several scoring chances only to be denied by starting goaltender Leighton Williams.

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A little action in front of Leighton Williams net. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The first whistle of the game came when Kerry Park iced the puck.

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Seth Davis waiting for the puck to drop. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Victoria opened the scoring at 6:10 on a power play when Webb had his shot tipped home by Ryan Carson. Marino Somerville doubled the lead after he converted a Roney rebound into a goal at 7:35.

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(Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

After David Marshall whiffed on a centering pass, Fretz gobbled up the loose puck at 9:29 and wired it past Williams. Brendan Gowanlock, who was penalized for kneeing 69 seconds earlier, was in the sin bin at the time of the goal.

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(Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Roney picked up his first goal of the postseason after redirecting a point shot taken by Webb at 14:57. The Cougars went ahead 5-0 at 16:41 on a goal by John Kretzschmar.

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(Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Victoria outshot the Islanders 23-3 in the period.

It was more of the same in the middle frame as Kerry Park was again held to only three shots on goal.

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Faceoff. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

There was no scoring until the 6:03 mark when Fretz twinkled the twine for the second time in the game.

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A chase for the puck. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Power play goals from Sam McMullen at 7:46 and Jake Stolz at 8:09 put the Cougars up 8-0.

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(Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Smelling blood, Fretz notched his hat-trick goal on the power play at 10:39.

An interference penalty to Wade Johnson late in the period put the Islanders on a much needed power play. Whacking away the puck, Slicer beat Connor Beauchamp at 18:48.

Kerry Park’s head coach Dale Purinton made a goaltending change to start the third period.

Ty Rennie, an affiliate from the Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association, relieved Williams who allowed nine goals on 39 shots.

The 15-year-old rookie did well; making 16-of-17 saves in his playoff debut. Fretz was the only player to beat Rennie. Watching the proceedings from the penalty box was Nick Kean who had tripped defenseman Nick Lyons on an earlier play.

Victoria went 6-for-9 on the power play; meanwhile, the Islanders went 1-for-4.

Beauchamp made nine saves for the win.

It was another loss for Kerry Park who dropped all eight games to the Cougars during the regular season.

Victoria welcomed back Lyons who missed the last 12 games due to an injury. Mark Walton and Garett Kemmler still remains on the shelf for the Cougars.

Unlike the regular season, the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League has implemented a two-referee system for the duration of the playoffs. Wearing the red armbands Thursday were Jordy Davis and Riley Friesen.

In other playoff action: Comox Valley Glacier Kings 7, Saanich Braves 2. Campbell River Storm 4, Nanaimo Buccaneers 0.

Game 2 goes Saturday, February 22 in Kerry Park. Game time at the Kerry Park Recreation Centre, located at 1035 Shawnigan Mill Bay Road, is 7:30 p.m.


1st star, Michael Fretz (Goals: 4, Assists: 1)

2nd star, Patrick Webb (Goals: 0, Assists: 5)

3rd star, John Kretzschmar (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)