Game Preview: Westshore Wolves vs. Victoria Cougars

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(ISN) – The Victoria Cougars (10-2-1-0) return home after a long road swing to face the Westshore Wolves (12-4-1-0) this Thursday.

Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.

Victoria, who last played at home on October 2, went 4-1-0-0 during its time away from the A.B.S.C. Mark Van Helvoirt and his troops will be looking for redemption against the Wolves after dropping a 3-1 decision to them last Wednesday.

Before their tilt with Westshore, the Cougars had won their last six games.

Victoria’s homecoming follows a journey which saw them visit Saanich, Kerry Park, Nanaimo, Westshore, and most recently Oceanside.

Michael Fretz led the Cougars offensively with three goals and four assists in those five games.

Victoria got back into the win column with a 5-2 win in Oceanside last Saturday. Scoring for the Cougars were Fretz, Marino Somerville, Howard Howden, Sam McMullen, and Kyle Truax.

For Truax, it was his first goal of the season.

Anthony Ciurro got the start in net for Victoria. The 18-year-old goalie from Peoria, Arizona stopped 20 shots for the win.

Since their win against the Cougars, Westshore split a home and home series versus the Comox Valley Glacier Kings this past weekend. The Wolves dropped a 9-1 decision in Comox Valley on Saturday before posting a 7-1 win at The Q Centre on Wednesday.

The win moved Westshore four points ahead of the Cougars for first place in the South Island Division. However, Victoria has four games in hand on the Wolves.

Kyle Richter returned to the Westshore lineup on Wednesday after missing the last four games. The former Cougars forward lead the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League in scoring with 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points in 13 games.

In other action around the V.I.J.H.L. on Thursday, Oceanside (2-12-1-0) travels to Nanaimo to take on the Buccaneers (10-4-0-1).

STANDINGS: Victoria – 2nd place, 21 points, South Island Division. Westshore – 1st place, 25 points, South Island Division

OFFENSE: Victoria – 3rd place, 4.23 goals for per game. Westshore – 2nd place, 4.88 goals for per game

DEFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 1.85 goals against per game. Westshore – 3rd pace, 3.24 goals against per game

TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Michael Fretz, 11 goals; Robert Zadra, 16 assists; Ryan Carson, Robert Zadra, 22 points; Mitch Moloney, 23 penalty minutes. Westshore – Kyle Richter, 12 goals; Kyle Richter, Corey Peterson, 14 assists; Kyle Richter, 26 points; Tyler Smith, 65 penalty minutes

GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Anthony Ciurro (1.78 goals against average, .915 save percentage); Grant Payne (1.85 goals against average, .921 save percentage). Westshore – Chris Smith (3.11 goals against average, .869 save percentage); Riley Welyk (3.40 goals against average, .889 save percentage)

POWER PLAY: Victoria – 3rd place, 14-for-74, 18.92 percent. Westshore – 5th place, 19-for-108, 17.59 percent

PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 1st place, 56-for-61, 91.80 percent. Westshore – 2nd place, 105-for-120, 87.50 percent

SEASON SERIES: Westshore leads, 1-0-0-0

October 15, 2014. Victoria Cougars 1 @ Westshore Wolves 3
November 13, 2014. Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars
November 19, 2014. Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
December 17, 2014. Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
January 14, 2015. Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
December 29, 2015. Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars
February 15, 2015. Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 4-0-1-0. Westshore – Away, 5-4-0-0

STREAKS: Victoria, 1-0-0-0. Westshore, 1-0-0-0

LAST TEN: Victoria, 7-2-1-0. Westshore, 6-3-1-0