Cougars Up Two Games To Nothing After Beating Kerry Park

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MILL BAY, B.C. – The Victoria Cougars skated to a 6-2 victory and a 2-0 series lead over the Kerry Park Islanders in one of two playoff games played Saturday.

Cody Hodges and Nathan Looysen scored twice for Victoria.  Also tallying for the Cougars, who scored three of their goals on the power play, were Kenny Britton and John Kretzschmar.

Victoria kicked off the best-of-seven series with a 5-1 win Thursday.

Game 3 goes Sunday afternoon at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.

David Bittner and Zack Smith supplied the offense for the Islanders.

It was an uphill battle from the get-go for Kerry Park who dressed only nine forwards and five defensemen.  Injured for the Islanders were Tait Aptakin, Tanner Browne, Chris Carpentier, Ryan Paisley, Ty Smith, and Tanner Tiel.

Ouch!

To make matters worse, defenseman Lynden Eddy was tossed from the game after he checked Liam Kinshella into the end boards from behind early in the first period.

Kerry Park, who trailed 3-1 after 40 minutes, played exceptionally well despite playing with a severely depleted lineup.

Looysen opened the scoring on a power play at 6:33 of the first period.  Gaining speed through the neutral zone, Looysen split the defense at the Islanders blue line and did a nice toe drag before snapping the puck past Chase Anderson.

There was no scoring until the 3:51 mark of the second period when Bittner buried his first goal of the playoffs.  The power play goal came with one second remaining in Jordan Passmore’s slashing penalty.

Victoria re-established its lead on a goal from Hodges at 8:19.

Then on an odd man rush, Britton took a pass from Ryan Lawson at 14:38 and deked out Anderson with a quick forehand to backhand move.

37 seconds earlier, Brett Lervold and Corey Peterson dropped the mitts in a spirited fight.  Both players received fight majors along with automatic game misconducts.

Hodges finished off a pretty passing play with Lane Vandewetering and Looysen for a power play goal from a sharp angle at 3:48 of the third period.

But at 6:27, Smith cut the deficit to two.

The Cougars kept their feet on the gas pedal as they continued to apply pressure.

Looysen scored his second power play goal of the game and fourth goal of the playoffs at 12:31 to give Victoria a 5-2 lead.

Then at 16:34, Kretzschmar rounded out the attack for the Cougars.

Anthony Ciurro was terrific in net for Victoria, making 26 saves.  Anderson stopped 44 shots in the loss.

The Cougars finished 3-for-11 with the man advantage while Kerry Park went 1-for-4.

Elsewhere, Alex Orth made 29 saves for his first postseason shutout and Will McNamara, Nick Gomerich, Coleman Doney, and Jordan Levesque scored to lead the visiting Nanaimo Buccaneers past the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 4-0.

The win gives Nanaimo a 3-0 lead in its first-round playoff series.

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