To describe Sunday afternoon’s game as “thrilling” is an understatement

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Peter Kung 

(ISN) – ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Brett Lervold scored at 2:20 of overtime to lift the Victoria Cougars to a thrilling 4-3 come from behind win over the Campbell River Storm.

To describe Sunday afternoon’s game as “thrilling” is an understatement.

In extra time, Lervold sent the crowd of 300 at the Archie Browning Sports Centre home happy after he converted a great one-handed cross-crease pass from Sam McMullen.

With the win, the Cougars rose to No. 1 in the Junior B weekly rankings. Campbell River is second followed by North Vancouver, Osoyoos, and Richmond. Rounding out the Top-10 is Kamloops at No. 6 followed by Summerland, Beaver Valley, Westshore, and Nelson.

With time winding down and Anthony Ciurro pulled for an extra attacker, Victoria (27-3-1-0) forced overtime when Aiden Silzer-Hooker took a cross-ice pass from McMullen and ripped a one-timer past Jesse Michel with just 6.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

It was the first goal of the season for Silzer-Hooker.

For McMullen, he extended his point streak to 19 games.

Michael Fretz and Lane Van de Wetering also scored for the Cougars who led 1-0 after one period and 2-0 after two.

Replying for the Storm (26-2-1-3) were Will McNamara, Colin Blake, and Gage Colpron.

The first period was fast-paced. At one point, there was no stoppage in play for six minutes and 57-seconds. Play did stop though at the 13:48 mark when Fretz banged home a Robert Zadra centering pass.

It was all Campbell River in the middle frame. The Storm outshot Victoria 22-8 and had it not been for the stellar play from Ciurro, Campbell River would have had a sizable lead by the end of the period.

Instead, the Cougars took a 2-0 lead on a goal by Van de Wetering at 6:13.

The Storm showed their resiliency by not laying down in the third period. They scored three times which included the go-ahead goal with just over a minute remaining.

McNamara cut the lead in half at 3:16 before Blake tied it up at 16:21.

Then with one minute and 14-seconds remaining, Colpron wired a wrist shot past Ciurro to give Campbell River its first lead of the game.

But the lead was short-lived when Silzer-Hooker scored.

Then in overtime, McMullen fended off a check from Nathan Browne before dishing the puck off to Lervold for his 21st goal of the season.

Immediately following the goal, Michel received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head and a ten-minute misconduct after he clotheslined Silzer-Hooker on the way to the bench.

Linesmen Adam Griffiths and Jeff MacAdams did a good job by not letting the situation get out of control.

Outshot 43-25, the Cougars went 0-for-1 with the man advantage while going a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Campbell River, who won the first meeting of the season, will have a chance to avenge today’s loss when these two teams square off January 15, 2015.

Both Victoria and the Storm had a goal waived off.

Tyler Welsh and Blake both rang shots off the iron for Campbell River.

In Mill Bay, Abe Lamontagne recorded a hat-trick as the Kerry Park Islanders rallied from an early three-goal deficit to defeat the Saanich Braves 7-6.

Next game for the Cougars is Wednesday, December 17 against the Westshore Wolves. Game time at The Q Centre, located at 1767 Old Island Highway, is 7:00 p.m.

THREE STARS:

1st star, Anthony Ciurro (Saves: 40, Save Percentage: .930)

2nd star, Michael Fretz (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)

3rd star, Brett Lervold (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)

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