ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The Campbell River Storm scored two goals on its first three shots and held on for a 2-1 win over the Victoria Cougars in Game 3 of the 2016 VIJHL Championship Series on Thursday.
Kobe Oishi and Reece Costain put Campbell River up 2-0 by the 15:29 mark of the first period.
The Cougars cut the lead in half thanks to an unassisted goal from John Kretzschmar less than a minute later.
It was a tight-checking, defensive battle from the get go. Victoria outshot the Storm 7-3 in the first period before getting outshot 7-4 in the second and 11-7 in the third.
Campbell River, who now leads the series two games to one, put on a shot blocking clinic by clogging up all the shooting lanes.
Oishi opened the scoring after redirecting a cross ice feed from Josh Coblenz at 8:05. Line mate Gage Colpron hit Coblenz with a perfect pass before getting stood up at centre ice by Jesse Kestenbaum.
Poor defensive coverage by the Cougars at 15:29 allowed Costain to skate out front and beat Anthony Ciurro with a wraparound.
Ciurro was pulled after allowing two goals on three shots. His replacement, Gregory Maggio, made 18 out of 18 saves in relief.
Kretzschmar put Victoria on the board with his fifth goal of the playoffs at 16:13. After intercepting a clearing attempt from Trevor Bottomley, Kretzschmar scooped up the puck and wired it off the iron and in.
From that point on, the Storm built a wall in front of goaltender Riley Welyk who stopped 17 shots.
The Cougars managed to pull Maggio for an extra attacker with one minute and two seconds remaining in regulation. Bryton Beattie had one last kick at the can but his shot in the dying seconds was blocked by the duo of Bottomley and Colpron.
It was the third one goal game of the series.
Both teams finished 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Game 4 goes Friday in Campbell River.
1st star, Kobe Oishi (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
2nd star, Austin Wilk (Goals: 0, Assists: 0)
3rd star, Trevor Bottomley (Goals: 0, Assists: 0)