ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Nathan Looysen scored twice and added an assist to lead the Victoria Cougars to a 5-1 win over the Kerry Park Islanders in Game 1 of their Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League first-round playoff series on Thursday.
Also scoring for Victoria, which led 3-0 after one period and 4-0 after two, was Brett Lervold, Austin Wilk, and Ryan Lawson.
Game 2 goes Saturday in Kerry Park.
It was a rough-and-tumble affair that included 81 penalty minutes and 13 power plays – nine of which were awarded to the Cougars.
Lervold opened the scoring at 7:19 when his slap shot from the left faceoff dot beat Chase Anderson short side.
Victoria received its first power play of the game when Zack Smith was sent off the ice for slashing at 12:45. Over a half-a-minute later, Looysen took a pass from Lane Vandewetering and ripped a one-timer past Anderson.
Anthony Ciurro, who won a league-high 27 games for the Cougars during the regular season, made two sensational saves shortly thereafter. The Peoria, Arizona native first stopped Smith from in close and with play continuing, Ciurro, who was down and out, reached up with his glove and robbed Corey Peterson of a sure goal.
All Peterson could do was to shake his head.
Victoria remained perfect on the power play when a weak shot off the stick of Wilk fooled Anderson with 81 seconds remaining in the period. Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Tanner Browne.
John Kretzschmar, who stole the puck off Anderson deep in the Islanders zone, found Larson at 2:04 of the second period to give the Cougars a 4-0 lead.
The middle frame was a write off for Kerry Park who began to whoop it up while managing only two shots on goal.
Victoria outshot the Islanders 40-17.
Keenan Eddy did manage to sneak one past Ciurro. At the 36 second mark of the third period and playing four-on-four, Eddy broke down the right side and snapped the puck off the post and in.
There was no scoring until there was 31.3 seconds remaining in regulation when Looysen iced the cake with his second goal of the game.
The Cougars finished 2-for-9 with the man advantage; meanwhile, Kerry Park went 0-for-4.
In Nanaimo, Will Koop scored on the power play at 4:52 of overtime as the Buccaneers eked out a 3-2 victory over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. The win gives Nanaimo a 2-0 series lead.
1st star, Nathan Looysen (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)
2nd star, Anthony Ciurro (Saves: 16, Save Percentage: .941)
3rd star, Chase Anderson (Saves: 35, Save Percentage: .875)