ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Nathan Looysen and Kenny Britton powered the Victoria Cougars to an 11-3 victory over the Oceanside Generals on Thursday night.
The win moves Victoria two points ahead of the idle Campbell River Storm for first place in the VIJHL standings.
Looysen scored three times while Britton netted a pair of goals in a penalty-filled game. Also scoring for the Cougars (35-5-1-1) were Ryan Carson, Liam Kinshella, Ryan Lawson, Kurtis Gamble, Jordan Passmore, and James Scott.
There were a total of 28 penalties called which included 18 minors, four misconducts, three majors, and three game misconducts.
Philippe Lam, Ethan Sundstrum, and Cam Nickerson replied for Oceanside.
It was scoreless until Victoria and Generals combined to score four times in a span of one minute and 43-seconds during the first period.
Oceanside (11-28-1-3) had an opportunity to open the scoring when Cougars’ Brett Lervold was penalized for tripping Mathieu Jallabert at 3:20.
Instead of scoring, the Generals gave up not one but two shorthanded goals. All on the same power play. All to the same player.
Looysen scored his 37th goal of the season at 4:04 after taking a cross-ice feed from Ryan Buse and beating Brandon Ward with a well-placed shot.
Then on a solo effort, Looysen made it 2-0 at 5:13.
Carson padded the lead at 5:41 from a sharp angle.
After the goal, Brad Knight burned his only timeout to try to calm his team. It worked as six seconds later Lam scored to cut the deficit to two.
But at 12:37, beautiful passing from Austin Wilk and Lawson resulted in a Kinshella goal.
Looysen scored his third goal of the game at 5:02 of the second period after he was set up again by Buse.
That would be all for Looysen though as he would exit the game for good after getting assessed an automatic game misconduct for kneeing Connor Mowatt at 6:39. The former Peninsula Panthers and Nanaimo Buccaneers forward lay face down on the ice before being helped down the tunnel and to the dressing room.
Mowatt did return and would take a checking-to-the-head penalty and a ten-minute misconduct late in the period.
With Buse already in the sin bin and forthcoming penalties to Looysen and Lane Vandewetering, Oceanside would get an extended two man advantage.
Sundsturm cut the lead to 5-2 at 7:20 with his 13th goal of the season.
But at 17:04, Scott set up Britton on the doorstep.
Goals from Lawson and Gamble early in the third period would spell the end for Ward. The Generals goalie allowed eight goals on 32 shots.
His replacement, Matt Henwood, did not fare any better.
Britton beat Henwood on the very first shot to make it a 9-2 game. The energetic forward would take on Keegan Selva in a spirited fight midway through the period. Britton received an extra penalty for charging.
28 seconds after the Britton penalty expired, Nickerson scored.
A power play goal from Passmore at 15:16 and a late goal from Scott would round out the scoring.
Henwood finished with nine saves in relief.
The Cougars went 1-for-6 with the man advantage while Oceanside finished 1-for-7.
Gregory Maggio stopped 13 shots to extend his winning streak to 11 games.
Named the game’s second star, Scott finished with a season high four points.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Jordan Levesque scored once and added an assist as the Nanaimo Buccaneers doubled up on the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 6-3 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Next game for Victoria is Friday, February 5 against the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Panorama Recreation Centre, located at 1885 Forest Park Drive, is 7:30 p.m.
1st star, Ryan Lawson (Goals: 1, Assists: 2)
2nd star, James Scott (Goals: 1, Assists: 3)
3rd star, Ryan Buse (Goals: 0, Assists: 3)