Game Preview: Wolves vs. Cougars

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The Victoria Cougars (7-3-1-0) host the Westshore Wolves (7-5-0-0) in one of two Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League games on tap tonight.

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

Tonight marks the third of eight games of the season between the Cougars and Westshore. These two teams split their two previous meetings.

Victoria dropped a 2-1 decision to the Peninsula Panthers last Friday for its third loss in its last six contests.  Despite making a desperate push in the late stages of the game, the Cougars could not find the tying goal.

To make matters worse, Victoria is facing a bad case of the injury bug.  In addition to Brett Lervold who was injured in last Thursday’s game against the Saanich Braves, goaltender Sean Wendlandt and forwards Liam Kinshella, John Krtezschmar, and Lane Vandewetering are also on the injury list as well.

To help fill the holes created by all these injuries, the Cougars went out and signed defenseman Carlos Grouchy, forward Timothy Nichols, and goaltender Greg Maggio last week.

Grouchy and Maggio were free agent signings while Nichols was acquired from the Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League in exchange for future considerations.

Both Grouchy and Nichols have been held pointless through three games while Maggio lost his only start, stopping 22-of-26 shots in a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Wolves last Wednesday.

After having their six-game winning streak snapped last Friday, Westshore got back to its winning ways following a 3-1 win over the Oceanside Generals last night at The Q Centre.

Kayden Peck, Jonah Philip, and Tanner Sidaway scored for the Wolves who currently now sit one point behind Victoria for first place in the South Island Division.  Leighton Williams made 16 saves to earn the win.

Westshore dominated play from the outset against the cellar-dwelling Generals who made their first visit to the South Island.  The Wolves outshot Oceanside 19-12 through two periods and 35-17 overall.

Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Grayden McInnes and the Comox Valley Glacier Kings visit Jordan Levesque and the Nanaimo Buccaneers for a North Island Division showdown at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.


STANDINGS:  Victoria – 1st place, 15 points, South Island Division.  Westshore – 2nd place, 14 points, South Island Division

OFFENSE:  Victoria – 1st place, 4.91 goals for per game.  Westshore – 6th place, 2.83 goals for per game

DEFENSE:  Victoria – 2nd place, 2.09 goals against per game.  Westshore – 5th place, 3.42 goals against per game

TEAM LEADERS:  Victoria – Cody Hodges, 9 goals; Cody Hodges, 14 assists; Cody Hodges, 23 points; Kurtis Gamble, 37 penalty minutes.  Westshore – Kayden Peck, 5 goals; Cory Hatcher, 8 assists; Cory Hatcher, 12 points; Adam Page, 43 penalty minutes

GOALTENDERS:  Victoria – Anthony Ciurro (1.61 goals against average, .923 save percentage); Sean Wendlandt (2.12 goals against average, .885 save percentage); Greg Maggio (4.04 goals against average, .846 save percentage).  Westshore – Leighton Williams (2.47 goals against average, .914 save percentage); Chris Smith (3.93 goals against average, .886 save percentage)

POWER PLAY:  Victoria – 1st place, 17-for-59, 28.81 percent.  Westshore – 7th place, 7-for-64, 10.94 percent

PENALTY KILL:  Victoria – 2nd place, 48-for-52, 92.31 percent.  Westshore – T6th place, 53-for-65, 81.54 percent

SEASON SERIES:  Series tied, 1-1-0-0


September 17, 2015.  Westshore Wolves 1 @ Victoria Cougars 10

October 7, 2015.  Victoria Cougars 2 @ Westshore Wolves 4

December 3, 2015.  Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

December 9, 2015.  Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves

January 6, 2016.  Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves

January 14, 2016.  Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

January 20, 2016.  Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves

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

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

LAST TEN:  Victoria, 6-3-1-0.  Westshore, 7-3-0-0