Victoria Cougars put winning streak on the line

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(ISN) – The Victoria Cougars will look to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games when they play host to the Westshore Wolves in a pivotal matchup tomorrow.

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

Both Victoria and the Wolves hold down top spot in the South Island Division. However, the Cougars have four games in hand on Westshore.

Victoria is the hottest team in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League with victories in 12 of its last 13 games. With wins over the Saanich Braves and Kerry Park Islanders this past weekend, the Cougars improved to 15-2-1-0 on the season.

After posting a 4-1 victory over the Braves on Wednesday, Victoria rolled into Mill Bay on Saturday and blanked the hometown Islanders 6-0. It was the fourth time this season the Cougars have shut out an opponent.

Sam McMullen continued his torrid pace. The 20-year-old centre extended his point streak to six games after tallying three goals and one assist. McMullen, who is in a two-way tie for ninth place in league scoring, has posted an eye-popping 16 points during his recent hot streak.

Also scoring for Victoria were Robert Zadra, Garnett Roberts, and Wade Johnson.

Stopping all 15 shots fired his way was Anthony Ciurro who picked up his league-leading third shutout of the season. The 18-year-old from Peoria, Arizona also leads the league in goals against average (1.51) and save percentage (.926).

The Wolves, who currently sit at 15-6-1-0 on the season, are coming off a 5-2 win over Kerry Park last night.

Nick Guiney, Dylan Grant, Corey Peterson, Connor Krupa, and Quentin McShane scored for Westshore who held period leads of 1-0 and 5-1.

The goal by Peterson extended his point streak to four games.

Riley Welyk, who was named the game’s third star, turned aside 33 shots for the win.

Kayle Ramsay will be eligible to return to the Wolves lineup tomorrow after serving a ten-game suspension for abuse of officials.

Thursday’s tilt with Westshore marks the third of eight meetings between these two clubs. The Wolves won 3-1 back on October 15 before Victoria roared back with an 8-3 victory eight days later.

Kyle Richter, who had two assists last night, continues to lead the scoring race with 31 points. Not far behind is Michael Fretz. The Cougars sniper sits in a three-way tie for fifth place with 16 goals and 12 assists.

In other action around the VIJHL tomorrow, the Oceanside Generals travels to Nanaimo to take on the Buccaneers.

STANDINGS: Victoria – T1st place, 31 points, South Island Division. Westshore – T1st place, 31 points, South Island Division

OFFENSE: Victoria – 3rd place, 4.67 goals for per game. Westshore – 2nd place, 4.73 goals for per game

DEFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 1.78 goals against per game. Westshore – 5th place, 3.64 goals against per game

TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Michael Fretz, 16 goals; Robert Zadra, 18 assists; Michael Fretz, 28 points; Ryan Carson, John Kretzschmar, 28 penalty minutes. Westshore – Kyle Richter, 14 goals; Corey Peterson, 18 assists; Kyle Richter, 31 points; Tyler Smith, 84 penalty minutes

GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Anthony Ciurro (1.51 goals against average, .926 save percentage); Grant Payne (1.99 goals against average, .912 save percentage). Westshore – Chris Smith (3.44 goals against average, .879 save percentage); Riley Welyk (3.90 goals against average, .874 save percentage)

POWER PLAY: Victoria – 2nd place, 24-for-102, 23.53 percent. Westshore – 4th place, 26-for-133, 19.55 percent

PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 1st place, 81-for-87, 93.10 percent. Westshore – 5th place, 126-for-152, 82.89 percent

SEASON SERIES: Series tied, 1-1-0-0

October 15, 2014. Victoria Cougars 1 @ Westshore Wolves 3
October 23, 2014. Westshore Wolves 3 @ Victoria Cougars 8
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, 6-0-1-0. Westshore – Away, 5-6-0-0

STREAKS: Victoria, 6-0-0-0. Westshore, 1-0-0-0

LAST TEN: Victoria, 9-1-0-0. Westshore, 7-3-0-0