The Victoria Cougars (9-4-0-3) cap off a four-game home stand this Thursday against the Peninsula Panthers (2-13-0-3).
Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
After opening the home stand with a pair of losses, Victoria rebounded for a 7-2 win over the Westshore Wolves last Thursday.
The seven goal outburst tied a season high for the Cougars.
Owen Dalman and Tyler Vanuden scored twice while Akila Sato-Gaudreau, Ryan Vorster, and James Scott each added singles.
Goaltender Anthony Ciurro made 29 saves for only his fifth win of the season.
Thursday marks the third of eight regular season meetings between these South Island Division rivals.
Victoria is perfect in its previous two matchups against the Panthers this season, winning 4-3 on September 15 at the A.B.S.C. and 7-4 two weeks and one day later at the Panorama Recreation Centre.
Nick Gomerich (2g, 4a), Grayden Hohl (1g, 5a), and Vanuden (3g, 3a) leads all Cougars players in points scored against Peninsula this season with six.
Victoria has a sizable special teams edge in the season series, going 5-for-11 on the power play and 13-for-14 on the penalty kill.
Eight of the next nine Cougars games are against teams within their division.
With one of the youngest lineups in the VIJHL, Peninsula has endured some growing pains.
The Panthers have scored the least amount of goals and allowed the most amount of goals of any VIJHL team. Their goal differential is a staggering -47.
Michael Sproule is having a career year for Peninsula. After totalling 16 points in 43 games last season, the 19-year-old power forward leads all Panthers players in scoring with nine goals and seven assists.
With goal scoring an issue, Peninsula head coach and director of hockey operations Brad Tippett recently pulled off a one-for-one deal with the Saanich Braves.
In that deal, Tippett landed 17-year-old forward Drew Coughlin in exchange for 19-year-old defenseman and former Cougar Mitch Moloney.
Coughlin, whose older brother Tate played two seasons for the WHL Kelowna Rockets and now plays for the BCHL Nanaimo Clippers, has one goal and four assists in five games since arriving on the scene.
Look for the younger Coughlin make the jump to Junior A next year. He is that good.
Sproule (3g, 1a) leads all Panthers players in points scored against Victoria this season with four.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, the Oceanside Generals travel to Nanaimo to take on the Buccaneers at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Watch and listen to the Cougars all year long on your computer or mobile device. Simply click the link on the Cougars website or log onto www.fasthockey.com to be connected to the live action.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 2nd place, 21 points, South Island Division. Peninsula – 5th place, 7 points, South Island Division
OFFENSE: Victoria – 5th place, 3.38 goals for per game. Peninsula – 9th place, 2.56 goals for per game
DEFENSE: Victoria – 2nd place, 2.75 goals against per game. Peninsula – 9th place, 5.17 goals against per game
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Owen Dalman, 10 goals; Nick Gomerich, 11 assists; Nick Gomerich, 17 points; Kenny Britton, 52 penalty minutes. Peninsula – Michael Sproule, 9 goals; Drew Coughlin, 14 assists; Michael Sproule, Josh Poland, 16 points; Ty Hermsen, 49 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Justin Anderson (2.59 goals against average, .907 save percentage); Anthony Ciurro (2.66 goals against average, .910 save percentage). Peninsula – Shawn Parkinson (4.76 goals against average, .864 save percentage); Liam Tutte (5.80 goals against average, .829 save percentage)
POWER PLAY: Victoria – 6th place, 13-for-68, 19.12 percent. Peninsula – 9th place, 9-for-94, 9.57 percent
PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 2nd place, 64-for-76, 84.21 percent. Peninsula – 4th place, 75-for-91, 82.42 percent
SEASON SERIES: Victoria leads series, 2-0-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
September 15, 2016. Peninsula Panthers 3 @ Victoria Cougars 4
September 30, 2016. Victoria Cougars 7 @ Peninsula Panthers 4
November 11, 2016. Victoria Cougars @ Peninsula Panthers
December 8, 2016. Peninsula Panthers @ Victoria Cougars
December 9, 2016. Victoria Cougars @ Peninsula Panthers
January 5, 2017. Peninsula Panthers @ Victoria Cougars
February 3, 2017. Victoria Cougars @ Peninsula Panthers
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 6-2-0-1. Peninsula – Away, 2-7-0-1
STREAKS: Victoria, 1-0-0-0. Peninsula, 0-2-0-0
LAST TEN: Victoria, 5-3-0-2. Peninsula, 1-8-0-1