Cougars unable to live up to expectations

Victoria Cougars Logo1

April 12, 2014, NELSON, B.C. (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars will play for bronze at the 2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup following their 3-0 loss to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

Mark Van Helvoirt and his troops will now play the Nelson Leafs who were beaten by the Aldergrove Kodiaks later in the evening.

Aldergrove will play Beaver Valley for gold.

The winner of that game will join the Abbotsford Pilots (Host), Blackfield Wranglers (Alberta), Saskatoon Quakers (Saskatchewan), Selkirk Fishermen (Manitoba), and the Thunder Bay Northern Hawks (Manitoba) at the 2014 Keystone Cup to decide the Western Canada Junior B champion.

The 2014 Keystone Cup runs April 17-20.

After scoring six goals in their opening round-robin game, the offense all of a sudden dried up when the Cougars needed it the most. As a result, Victoria will be denied of a gold medal for the third year in a row.

Saturday afternoon’s contest between the KIJHL and VIJHL champions was a fast-paced, hard-hitting defensive affair. And for the most part, the Cougars dictated the flow of play.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Nitehawks drew first blood when Sheldon Hubbard beat goaltender Nathan Hargrave at 1:48 of the second period.

Hargrave got the start over Connor Beauchamp who was pulled last game after allowing three goals on 14 shots.

The score remained 1-0 until the 10:07 mark of the third period. During an odd man rush, Ryan Edwards slid the puck over to Dan Holland who roofed it over a sprawling Hargrave.

Victoria peppered goaltender Grayson Sharpe with 26 shots which included firing half that total his way in the third period alone.

Still within striking distance, the Cougars caught a huge break when Archie McKinnon received a penalty for tripping with three minutes and 43-seconds remaining in regulation. However, one major reason for the Cougars loss was their abysmal power play.

On Saturday, Victoria went 0-for-6.

Then with 1.1 seconds left on the game clock, Kyle Hope assured Beaver Valley of at least a silver medal after netting a shorthanded empty net goal.

Hargrave made 16 saves in the loss.

As mentioned, next game for the Cougars is Sunday, April 13 against Nelson. Game time at the Nelson & District Community Complex, located at 305 Hall Street, is 10:30 a.m.


Dan Holland (Beaver Valley Nitehawks)

Nathan Hargrave (Victoria Cougars)


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