Victoria Cougars and Westshore Wolves set for Round 2

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(ISN) – The VIJHL South Island Division Finals open Thursday night when the Victoria Cougars host the Westshore Wolves.

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

Victoria held a significant edge during the regular season winning six of eight meetings with the Wolves which included a 10-1 home win on February 15 in their final regular season get-together. In addition, Westshore was outscored by the Cougars 56-20 in head-to-head action.

Sam McMullen led the way offensively for Victoria with nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points in eight games.

This will be the first ever playoff meeting between these two teams.

It is, however, not the first time Mark Van Helvoirt and Brian Passmore have coached against each other in the postseason. Van Helvoirt got the better of Passmore last year when the Cougars defeated the Peninsula Panthers in six games to win the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy (awarded to the VIJHL playoff champion) for the third consecutive year.

Victoria has had an easy time so far in the playoffs, sweeping the Kerry Park Islanders in Round 1. But things are going to get a lot more difficult for the Cougars who now go up against a Westshore team which won a franchise-high 29 games during the regular season.

After a surprisingly close series with Saanich in Round 1, the Wolves were able to win in six games. Four of those games went to overtime.

Winner of 14 straight games heading into the South Island Division Finals, Victoria is by far the hottest team in the VIJHL right now.

Michael Fretz and McMullen were the leading scorers for the Cougars in Round 1 with nine points each. Victoria outscored the Islanders by a margin of 31-4 in the series.

The defending VIJHL Champion Cougars received superb goaltending from Grant Payne. Through four starts, Payne amassed a 0.78 goals against average and a .954 save percentage.

The Wolves were led by Clay Carson and Corey Peterson who recorded eight points apiece in Round 1. Carson led all Westshore players during the regular season with one goal and five assists versus the Cougars.

Chris Smith, who took over as the Wolves No. 1 when Riley Welyk was dealt at the VIJHL trade deadline, needs to better than his 6.46 goals against average and .844 save percentage he posted against Victoria during the regular season.

Meanwhile in the North, the Campbell River Storm squares off against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Game 1 of that series goes Friday night at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Victoria – Eliminated Kerry Park Islanders 4-0. Westshore – Eliminated Saanich Braves 4-2

OFFENSE: Victoria – 7.75 goals for per game. Westshore – 4.17 goals for per game

DEFENSE: Victoria – 1.00 goals against per game. Westshore – 3.67 goals against per game

TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Sam McMullen, 5 goals; Michael Fretz, Ryan Vorster, 5 assists; Sam McMullen, Michael Fretz, 9 points; Robert Zadra, 21 penalty minutes. Westshore – James Severs, 5 goals; Corey Peterson, 7 assists; Clay Carson, Corey Peterson, 8 points; Drayson Pears, 21 penalty minutes

GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Grant Payne (0.78 goals against average, .954 save percentage); Zack Kerr (7.50 goals against average, .833 save percentage); Anthony Ciurro (no appearances). Westshore – Chris Smith (2.64 goals against average, .899 save percentage); Blake Pearson (6.00 goals against average, .786 save percentage)

POWER PLAY: Victoria – 11/32, 34.38 percent. Westshore – 4/26, 15.38 percent

PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 21/23, 91.30 percent. Westshore – 28/32, 87.50 percent

SEASON SERIES: Series tied 0-0-0-0

PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
March 7, 2015. Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
March 8, 2015. Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars
March 10, 2015. Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
March 12, 2015 (if necessary). Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars
March 14, 2015 (if necessary). Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
March 15, 2015 (if necessary). Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 2-0-0-0. Westshore – Away, 2-0-0-1

STREAKS: Victoria, 4-0-0-0. Westshore, 2-0-0-0

LAST TEN: Victoria, 10-0-0-0. Westshore, 7-2-0-1

The 2015 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Playoffs and the road to the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy continues this Thursday for the Victoria Cougars as they square off in a best-of-seven series with the Westshore Wolves.

GAME 1: Thursday, March 5, 2015
Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars
Archie Browning Sports Centre
7:00 p.m.

GAME 2: Saturday, March 7, 2015
Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
The Q Centre
6:00 p.m.

GAME 3: Sunday, March 8, 2015
Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars
Archie Browning Sports Centre
3:30 p.m.

GAME 4: Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre or The Q Centre
7:00 p.m.

GAME 5 (if necessary): Thursday, March 12, 2015
Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars
Archie Browning Sports Centre
7:00 p.m.

GAME 6 (if necessary): Saturday, March 14, 2015
Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves
The Q Centre
6:00 p.m.

GAME 7 (if necessary): Sunday, March 15, 2015
Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars
Archie Browning Sports Centre
3:30 p.m.

Archie Browning Sports Centre: 1151 Esquimalt Road; Victoria, British Columbia; V9A 3N6

Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre/The Q Centre: 1767 Old Island Highway; Colwood, British Columbia; V9B 1J1

The winner of the Victoria-Westshore series will advance to the VIJHL Finals and meet the victor of the Campbell River Storm-Comox Valley Glacier Kings series.

 

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