The Victoria Cougars (35-4-1-1) host the Oceanside Generals (11-27-1-3) this Thursday in one of two Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League games on tap.
Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
Fans purchasing five dollars in 50/50 tickets will get into the game for only five dollars.
Thursday marks the third of four meetings between these two teams. Their previous matchup saw the Cougars skate away with a 5-0 win in Parksville. That game took place 95 days ago.
Gregory Maggio stopped all 21 shots he faced in net for Victoria.
11 days after having their 23-game winning streak snapped, the Cougars have rattled off wins against the Peninsula Panthers and most recently the Saanich Braves.
With seven games remaining, Victoria is two points ahead of the Campbell River Storm for the Andy Hebenton Trophy. The Cougars, who have finished the regular season with the most points the past five years, has two games in hand on Campbell River.
Victoria is led by Nathan Looysen whose 94 points leads all scorers in the VIJHL.
Mathieu Jallabert has been a revelation for the last-place Generals. The 18-year-old power forward from Nanaimo, B.C. has already surpassed his goal and point totals from last year and one more assist will set a new personal single season high. Jallabert leads Oceanside in goals (17), assists (25), points (42), and penalty minutes (156).
The Generals dropped a 4-3 decision to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Saturday extending a two-game losing streak. Jallabert lit the lamp twice and now has ten goals and 15 points over his last eight games.
That loss to Comox Valley was a crushing blow to Oceanside’s playoff hopes. The scenario for the Generals to make the postseason is that they will need to win a sudden-death game against the Glacier Kings or Saanich Braves once the regular season is over.
As it currently sits, Saanich would be hosting Oceanside. The winner of that game would take over the fourth seed in the North Island Division and will square off against Campbell River in a best-of-seven series.
Should the Braves pass Comox Valley in the standings and move into sixth place overall, Saanich becomes the third seed in the North Island Division and the Glacier Kings will host Oceanside for the right to play the Storm.
If the Generals leapfrog over Saanich, they then would host the Braves.
It is a tough road ahead for Oceanside who plays the Nanaimo Buccaneers twice and Campbell River, Victoria, and the Peninsula Panthers once more.
Oceanside has a better record away from home than at home. They are 4-15-1-2 at Oceanside Place and 7-12-0-1 when playing on the road.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Grayden McInnes and the Comox Valley Glacier Kings visit Trent Bell and the Nanaimo Buccaneers at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 72 points, South Island Division. Oceanside – 4th place, 26 points, North Island Division
OFFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 5.46 goals for per game. Oceanside – T6th place, 3.05 goals for per game
DEFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 1.83 goals against per game. Oceanside – 9th place, 5.00 goals against per game
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Nathan Looysen, 35 goals; Nathan Looysen, 59 assists; Nathan Looysen, 94 points; Kenny Britton, 109 penalty minutes. Oceanside – Mathieu Jallabert, 17 goals; Mathieu Jallabert, 25 assists; Mathieu Jallabert, 42 points; Mathieu Jallabert, 156 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Anthony Ciurro (1.69 goals against average, .929 save percentage); Gregory Maggio (1.91 goals against average, .915 save percentage). Oceanside – Matt Henwood (4.49 goals against average, .886 save percentage); Brandon Ward (4.76 goals against average, .881 save percentage).
POWER PLAY: Victoria – 1st place, 65-for-225, 28.89 percent. Oceanside – 8th place, 33-for-232, 14.22 percent
PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 1st place, 189-for-213, 88.73 percent. Oceanside – 9th place, 157-for-210, 74.76 percent
SEASON SERIES: Victoria leads series, 2-0-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
October 22, 2015. Oceanside Generals 2 @ Victoria Cougars 11
November 1, 2015. Victoria Cougars 5 @ Oceanside Generals 0
February 20, 2016. Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 19-0-1-1. Oceanside – Away, 7-12-0-1
STREAKS: Victoria, 2-0-0-0. Oceanside, 0-2-0-0
LAST TEN: Victoria, 9-0-0-1. Oceanside, 3-6-0-1