Victoria Cougars cruise to a 9-1 win over the Westshore Wolves

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Victoria Cougars 1925 Jersey

Peter Kung 

(ISN) – COLWOOD, B.C. – The Victoria Cougars used a four-goal second period and a 23 save performance from netminder Grant Payne to cruise to a 9-1 win over the Westshore Wolves at The Q Centre.

Nathan Looysen scored twice while Michael Fretz, Brett Lervold, Sam McMullen, and Jake Stolz each added a goal and an assist. Victoria, who won its fifth game in a row, also got goals from Wade Johnson, John Kretzschmar, and Austin Wilk.

Trailing 1-0 after one period, the Cougars erupted for nine straight to turn the game into a rout.

The Wolves have given Victoria fits all season and it was no different Wednesday before McMullen started the comeback with a power play goal at 8:27 of the second period.

For McMullen, the goal extended his point streak to 24 games.

Looysen showed why he belongs back in Major Junior when he ripped a wrist shot to the top corner of the net to beat newcomer Blake Pearson at 9:42.

Pearson was acquired by Westshore from the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on the eve of the VIJHL’s January 10 trade deadline.

Wilk gave the Cougars a 3-1 advantage at 15:30 after redirecting a centring pass from PJ Heger. Victoria padded its lead when Kretzschmar rippled the mesh at 17:21.

At 4:01 of the third period, Stolz sent a point shot along the ice that caught Pearson off guard. Picking up his second assist of the game was Ryan Carson.

After dodging a check along the side boards, McMullen snuck a pass out front to Lervold for the easy tap in at 5:31.

And with an enraged Jesse Nixon chasing him all over the ice, Looysen notched his second goal of the game at 6:02. Pearson, who allowed seven goals on 25 shots, was pulled in favour of Chris Smith.

A fight broke out in front of the Wolves bench at 7:47 between Ryan Buse and Jacob Malloch. Going toe-to-toe, both players each landed sharp punches on the other.

Embarrassed on their home ice, Westshore unleashed their frustration on the Cougars. Since the fight, the Wolves received two cross-checking penalties, a hit-to-the-head penalty, a high-sticking penalty, five ten-minute misconducts, and two game misconducts which included the ejections of both head coach Brian Passmore and assistant coach Kevin Fitzpatrick.

And while the Wolves were filling the penalty box, Victoria kept on filling the net.

Johnson made it 8-1 after tipping home a feed from Fretz at 13:34. Then at 15:43, Fretz added the exclamation point by rounding out the scoring. Assisting on the goal from Fretz was Aiden Silzer-Hooker who finished the night with two assists.

Both goals came while Westshore was down two men.

After the Fretz goal, Fitzpatrick lost his cool. He got into a screaming match with Cougars head coach Mark Van Helvoirt and then received a game misconduct from referee Aaron Keller.

With both coaches now ejected from the game, Wolves general manager Ken Carson went behind the bench for the final four minutes and 17-seconds.

Smith made eight saves in relief.

The Cougars were 3-for-11 on the power play; meanwhile, Westshore was 1-for-4.

Corey Peterson scored the lone goal for the Wolves.

Next game for Victoria is Thursday, January 15 against the Campbell River Storm. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.

THREE STARS:

1st star, Grant Payne (Saves: 23, Save Percentage: .958)

2nd star, Nathan Looysen (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)

3rd star, Michael Fretz (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)

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