SAANICH, B.C. – Ryan Lawson scored twice and Anthony Ciurro made 14 saves to lead the Victoria Cougars past the Saanich Braves 6-2 on Friday night.
Discipline was a problem for both teams as the overabundance of penalties ruined the flow of the game.
Seven minor penalties were called in the first period with Saanich receiving four of them.
One of those infractions was assessed to former Victoria Royals forward Brandon Fushimi who picked up a roughing penalty for knocking the helmet off of Ryan Carson and a ten-minute misconduct for arguing the call. When he could not keep quiet from inside the sin bin, referee Jonah Lachapelle had no choice but to give Fushimi a game misconduct.
The Braves (11-25-2-4) made use of their first man advantage of the game when Scott Henderson had his shot tipped in by Nick Kean at 4:08.
Kean had a busy first ten minutes – scoring once and racking up four minutes in penalties.
Then at 6:49, Lane Vandewetering redirected a pass from Brett Lervold that beat Riley Mathieson.
Although the period ended in a tie, shots on goal favoured the Cougars 20-8.
The parade to the penalty box continued.
90 seconds into the second period, Victoria (35-4-1-1) took the lead when John Kretzschmar fooled Mathieson from just inside the blue line.
Ryan Vorster and Lawson, who notched his first goal as a Cougar since coming over from the Chase Heat in a mid-January trade, scored three minutes and six seconds apart while the two teams played four aside.
A two minute minor for tripping to Thomas Sercombe put Victoria on its seventh power play of the game. And with five seconds remaining in the penalty, Lervold banged home a Nathan Looysen rebound to give the Cougars a commanding 5-1 lead.
Shots on goal through 40 minutes were 33-13 in favour of Victoria.
The two teams exchanged third period goals, starting with Larson scoring at 6:55. Then on the power play, Quinn Miller lit the lamp at 14:45 to make the score look a little bit more respectable.
Mathieson, who stopped 43 shots, played well despite the loss.
The woes continue for the Braves who have now been outscored 20-4 in their last three games.
The Cougars finished 1-for-11 with the man advantage while Saanich went 2-for-9.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL: Campbell River Storm 6, Comox Valley Glacier Kings 1. Peninsula Panthers 2, Nanaimo Buccaneers 1 (OT).
Next game for Victoria is Thursday, February 4 against the Oceanside Generals. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
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