ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The Victoria Cougars scored five goals on their first six shots en route to an 11-2 pasting of the Oceanside Generals on Thursday night.
Six different players scored goals while 14 different players recorded at least a point.
It was the third straight win for Victoria (10-3-1-0) who moves past the idle Campbell River Storm into sole possession of first place overall in the VIJHL standings.
The Cougars held a titanic 45-27 shots on goal advantage which included outshooting Oceanside 25-7 in a four-goal second period.
Goals in quick succession from Ryan Carson, Austin Wilk, Kameron Fink, and James Scott saw starting goalie David Anderson make way for Brandon Ward.
Anderson, who returned to the VIJHL after an unsuccessful stint in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, managed to make only one save on six shots.
Victoria led 6-1 after one period and 10-1 after two.
Cody Hodges, who opened the scoring 26 seconds in, led all scorers with one goal and four assists.
The Generals tied the game just over a minute later on a goal from Conner Mowatt.
Both teams were missing key components of their roster.
For the Cougars, John Kretzschmar, Liam Kinshella, Brett Lervold, Lane Vandewetering, and Sean Wendlandt still remain on the injury list.
Mathieu Jallabert, Oceanside’s leading scorer, and defenseman Wyatt Meiers are also dealing with injuries while Jonathan Veilleux, the Generals second leading scorer, returned home to deal with a personal matter.
Carson gave Victoria a 2-1 advantage at 3:09 before an unassisted goal 21 seconds later from Wilk padded the lead. Then at 3:44, Fink scored his first of three goals. Scott, who missed the last two games due to an upper body injury, made it 5-1 at 4:17 after banging home a rebound for his first goal of the season.
After the goal, Anderson skated off the ice and went down the tunnel.
Ward, who was acquired earlier in the season from the Saanich Braves in exchange for future considerations, was victimized by Kolbeins at 12:33 and then again at the 1:40 mark of the second period.
Back-to-back goals from Fink gave the Cougars a 9-1 lead. Kolbeins completed the hat-trick when he batted the puck in from a sharp angle at 14:31.
Both teams had discipline problems throughout the game. Victoria had 56 minutes of penalties while the Generals racked up 26 minutes.
A backhander at 7:11 of the third period from Jeff Deblois made the score 10-2. But at 11:58, Scott scored his second goal of the game off a rebound.
The Cougars went 5-for-7 on the power play. Oceanside scored twice on 12 man advantages.
Taylor Leger made his VIJHL debut, grabbing an assist on Victoria’s second goal. Standing six-foot-four and weighing in at 225-pounds, Leger was signed after starting the season with the Ridge Meadows Flames of the Pacific Junior Hockey League.
Getting the nod between the pipes for the Cougars was Anthony Ciurro. The native of Peoria, Arizona now leads the VIJHL in wins (7), goals against average (1.47), and save percentage (.934).
Nathan Looysen, who extended his point streak to eight games, chipped in with four assists.
Oceanside (2-11-1-0) dropped its sixth game in a row and trails the North Island Division leading Storm by 15 points.
In the Hub City, Will McNamara scored the game winner late in the third period and Will Koop added an empty net goal as the Nanaimo Buccaneers downed the Saanich Braves 6-4 in front of 165 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Next game for Victoria is Saturday, October 24 against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Game time at the Comox Valley Sports Centre, located at 3001 Vanier Drive, is 7:30 p.m.
1st star, Dom Kolbeins (Goals: 3, Assists: 1)
2nd star, Kameron Fink (Goals: 3, Assists: 0)
3rd star, James Scott (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)