CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – Ryan Carson scored with 23.5 seconds remaining in double overtime to lift the No. 1 ranked Victoria Cougars to a 5-4 victory over the Campbell River Storm on Friday.
With the faceoff just outside the Victoria blue line; Carson chipped the puck up to Nathan Looysen off the draw. Leading the rush, Looysen feathered the puck over to Carson who went forehand-backhand to beat Riley Welyk.
The winning goal came on the Cougars 29th shot of the game.
Looysen and Gage Colpron exchanged goals to send Victoria and the hometown Storm to the first intermission tied at 1-1.
A power play goal from Cody Hodges at 3:17 of the second period would give the Cougars (27-4-1-0) the lead. Looysen, who was named the game’s first star, scored his 31st goal of the season to give Victoria a two-goal advantage at 6:01.
The Storm would cut into the lead on an unassisted goal from Josh Coblenz with 66 seconds remaining in the period.
Outshot 21-16 through two periods, Dom Kolbeins restored the Cougars two-goal lead on the power play at 6:54.
Campbell River then got a power play goal from Alex Brewer and an even strength goal from Colpron with just under two minutes to play in regulation to erase a 4-2 deficit.
Anthony Ciurro made 31 saves which included stopping all seven shots in overtime.
Victoria scored twice on three power play opportunities while the Storm (22-6-1-2) converted once on six chances.
Elsewhere, Brendan Werstine scored a goal and added an assist in his VIJHL debut to lead the Saanich Braves to a 5-1 win over the visiting Peninsula Panthers.
Next game for the Cougars is January 3 against the Nanaimo Buccaneers. Game time at the Nanaimo Ice Centre, located at 750 Third Street, is 6:15 p.m.
1st star, Nathan Looysen (Goals: 2, Assists: 2)
2nd star, Alex Brewer (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)
3rd star, Gage Colpron (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)