Victoria Cougars meet Campbell River Storm

cougars logo


(ISN) – As expected, the North Island Division champion Campbell River Storm will meet the South Island Division champion Victoria Cougars in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Championship.

The best-of-seven series begins this afternoon in Victoria.

Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 3:30 p.m.

The series winner will advance to the Cyclone Taylor Cup Tournament which will be hosted by the Mission City Outlaws of the Pacific Junior Hockey League.

Campbell River advanced to the VIJHL Final for the first time in nine years after knocking off the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 9-3 in Game 5. The Cougars will make their fifth straight appearance in the VIJHL Final following a four-game sweep of the Westshore Wolves.

Both the Storm and Victoria split their regular season games with each team winning twice. Campbell River won 8-3 on September 13 and then 5-1 on January 15. The Cougars won both of their games in overtime; 4-3 on December 14 and 2-1 on February 13.

That epic win on February 13 helped Victoria secure the No. 1 seed and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Cougars ended the regular season with 42 wins and 85 points. Not far behind was Campbell River who won 39 games and collected 83 points.

Both teams are incredibly deep across the board. Ranked 1-2 for the entire season, the Storm and Victoria possesses high-powered offenses, stifling defenses, and strong goaltending.

And to top it off, Lee Stone of Campbell River and Mark Van Helvoirt of the Cougars were named co-recipient of the Eddie Kingston Award as VIJHL Coach of the Year. It is going to be an interesting chess match.

Both teams were also fantastic on their respective home soil. The Storm was 22-1-0-1 at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena while Victoria went 21-2-1-0 at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.

This series promises to be a barn burner.

Elsewhere around the Junior B circuit…

Mission City will square off against the North Vancouver Wolf Pack for the Pacific Junior Hockey League Championship. Game 1 gets underway Monday night at the Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre in North Vancouver.

And in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Semi-Finals, the Kimberley Dynamiters hold a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Beaver Valley Nitehawks while the Kamloops Storm has a 2-1 series lead on the Osoyoos Coyotes.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Victoria – Eliminated Kerry Park Islanders 4-0. Eliminated Westshore Wolves 4-0. Campbell River – Eliminated Oceanside Generals 4-0. Eliminated Comox Valley Glacier Kings 4-1.

OFFENSE: Victoria – 7.25 goals for per game. Campbell River – 5.33 goals for per game

DEFENSE: Victoria – 1.25 goals against per game. Campbell River – 1.44 goals against per game

TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Sam McMullen, 8 goals; Sam McMullen, Nathan Looysen, 12 assists; Sam McMullen, 20 points; Robert Zadra, 25 penalty minutes. Campbell River – Gage Colpron, 12 goals; Colin Blake, 9 assists; Gage Colpron, 16 points; Josiah Friesen, 32 penalty minutes

GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Grant Payne (0.87 goals against average, .953 save percentage); Anthony Ciurro (3.00 goals against average, .897 save percentage); Zack Kerr (7.50 goals against average, .833 save percentage). Campbell River – Jesse Michel (1.34 goals against average, .938 save percentage); Riley Welyk (1.44 goals against average, .936 save percentage)

POWER PLAY: Victoria – 22/59, 37.29 percent. Campbell River – 14/64, 21.88 percent

PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 39/44, 88.64 percent. Campbell River – 48/53, 90.57 percent

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

T.B.A. Victoria Cougars @ Campbell River Storm
T.B.A. Campbell River Storm @ Victoria Cougars
T.B.A. Victoria Cougars @ Campbell River Strom
T.B.A. (if necessary). Campbell River Storm @ Victoria Cougars
T.B.A. (if necessary). Victoria Cougars @ Campbell River Storm
T.B.A. (if necessary). Campbell River Storm @ Victoria Cougars

HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 4-0-0-0. Campbell River – Away, 3-1-0-0

STREAKS: Victoria, 8-0-0-0. Campbell River, 2-0-0-0

LAST TEN: Victoria, 8-0-0-0. Campbell River, 8-1-0-0

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