(ISN) – COLWOOD, B.C. – A third straight comeback was not in the cards for the Victoria Cougars as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Westshore Wolves on a drizzly Wednesday evening.
Trailing 2-1 late in the third period, Victoria received a power play when Corey Peterson was called for elbowing at 15:27. Instead the Cougars met a brick wall named Riley Welyk.
The loss puts Victoria four points back of the South Island Division leading Wolves. However, the Cougars have three games in hand on Westshore.
Wednesday’s game marked the first of eight meetings between these two powerhouses. Round 2 goes Thursday, October 23 at the friendly confines of the Archie Browning Sports Centre.
The two teams were tied 1-1 after one period before a third period goal at 11:51 from Spencer Preece put the Wolves ahead for the first time in the game. And with Westshore clinging to a one-goal lead, Brett Lervold scored from a sharp angle with 1:39 remaining in regulation to seal the deal.
Victoria (9-2-1-0) opened the scoring just 75 seconds in when Robert Zadra, who extended his point streak to 11 games, was left all alone out front.
Moments after the Wolves killed a penalty, Jordan Martin centered the puck out to Connor Krupa who beat Grant Payne to make it a 1-1 game. For Krupa, whose goal came at 10:42, was his seventh of the season.
Shots were even at ten apiece after one period.
The second period was all Westshore (11-3-1-0) who outshot the Cougars 15-4. Had it not been for Payne standing on his head, the outcome would have been a lot worse.
His best save came late in that period when he stymied Peterson who dangled through a couple of Victoria defenders.
It was a different story for the Cougars in the third period as they found their stride and peppered Welyk with 18 shots. Welyk, who was named the game’s second star, was brilliant in the win.
Victoria outshot the Wolves 32-29.
Both teams were blanked on the man advantage. The Cougars went 0-for-3; meanwhile, Westshore went 0-for-4.
Kyle Richter, who leads all scorers with 24 points in 12 games, was not in the Wolves lineup.
After two straight comeback wins, Victoria lost for the first time in seven games.
Next game for the Cougars is Saturday, October 18 against the Oceanside Generals. Game time at Oceanside Place, located at 830 Island Highway West, is 7:30 p.m.
1st star, Spencer Preece (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
2nd star, Riley Welyk (Saves: 31, Save Percentage: .969)
3rd star, Grant Payne (Saves: 26, Save Percentage: .897)