Sam McMullen has Monster night for Cougars

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Peter Kung

(ISN) – ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Revenge is sweet.

Eight days after the Westshore Wolves put an abrupt end to the Victoria Cougars six-game winning streak, Victoria responded in a big way Thursday as they crushed the visiting Wolves 8-3 at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.

The Cougars led 1-0 after one period and 3-2 after two.

With the win, Victoria moved to within two points of the South Island Division leading Wolves. The Cougars also have four games in hand on Westshore.

Sam McMullen scored twice and added three assists to lead the way offensively for Victoria.

Facing a dangerous Wolves team who recently erupted for seven goals against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings and who also had their leading scorer Kyle Richter back in their lineup; it was the Cougars who got the early jump.

On a two-man advantage, courtesy of a pair of penalties to Corey Peterson, Victoria wasted little time when McMullen redirected a Ryan Vorster point shot past Riley Welyk with one minute and 21-seconds remaining in the opening period.

The Cougars (11-2-1-0) started the second period like gangbusters, using Welyk as target practice. But it would be Westshore who would go on to score the next two goals.

Clay Carson tied the game after banging home a Connor Krupa rebound at 3:38. Then 24 seconds later, Drayson Pears wired a slap shot from the high slot over the blocker of Grant Payne to give the Wolves the lead.

There was no scoring until the 12:59 mark when Zadra walked out of the corner and scored off his own rebound to make it a 2-2 game. Zadra, who was named the game’s second star, extended his point streak to 13 games with the goal.

An interference penalty to Jacob Malloch put the Cougars on a late power play. And at 16:06, Johnson scored his first of three power play goals after pouncing on a loose puck and firing it home.

A bench minor to Westshore at the 20 minute mark of the middle frame coupled with a cross-checking penalty to Nick Guiney 36 seconds into the third period put Victoria on another extended two-man advantage.

Johnson notched his second goal of the night after his shot squirted through the jersey of Welyk at 1:07. And with Guiney still in the penalty box, Howard Howden scored exactly one minute later to give the Cougars a 5-2 lead.

Westshore went back on the penalty kill at 6:14 after Tyler Smith sent Jake Stolz hard into the boards.

13 seconds later, Johnson scored from McMullen and Vorster.

The Wolves (12-5-1-0) cut the lead in half on a power play of their own after Quentin McShane beat Payne with a weak slap shot from the blue line at 9:09. Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Liam Kinshella who had just 17 seconds remaining in his tripping penalty.

The penalties started to mount for Westshore who were now a frustrated bunch.

Carson could only watch from the penalty box when a shot from the inner hash marks of the right faceoff circle by McMullen at 12:53 would twinkle the twine. Assisting on the goal were Michael Fretz and Vorster who finished the night with four helpers.

On a delayed penalty and Payne at the bench for an extra attacker, Kyle Truax sent a rocket past Welyk at 13:53. Ryan Buse made a nice tape-to-tape cross ice pass to Truax who scored his second goal in as many games.

Trailing 8-3, the Wolves became undisciplined and lost Carson to a match penalty.

The Cougars went 6-for-8 on the power play; meanwhile, Westshore went 1-for-6.

Payne made 19 saves for his sixth win of the season.

Turning aside 24 shots was Welyk.

In Nanaimo, Trent Bell and Coleman Doney added a goal and an assist each to lead the hometown Buccaneers past the Oceanside Generals 4-2.

Next game for Victoria is Saturday, October 25 against the Oceanside Generals. Game time at Oceanside Place, located at 830 Island Highway West, is 7:30 p.m.

THREE STARS:

1st star, Wade Johnson (Goals: 3, Assists: 1)

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

3rd star, Ryan Vorster (Goals: 0, Assists: 4)

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