ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The Victoria Cougars scored three third period goals in the final seven minutes to snatch a 5-2 victory away from the Oceanside Generals on Thursday night.
With the win, Victoria won its third game in a row and moved five points ahead of the idle Saanich Braves for top spot in the South Island Division.
Thursday marked the midway point and eighth game in 15 nights for the weary Cougars (16-5-0-3) who have had just four practices during that span.
Brandon Roberge opened the scoring at 14:22 of the first period when his shot from just outside the blue line skipped past Justin Anderson.
The visiting Generals went ahead 2-0 with just under two minutes to play in the period. After Anderson made two great kick saves, the rebound shot out to Max Creighton who made no mistake in banging the puck home.
Anderson, who settled down after the goal, went on stop 27 shots for his eighth victory of the season.
Oceanside (5-15-0-1) dropped its sixth straight game despite getting a 35-save performance from Wesley Jon Ellingsen.
For the second game in a row, Victoria erased a two goal deficit.
Kyle Wade pulled the Cougars to within one at the 12:35 mark of the middle frame when his short range shot sailed over the left shoulder of Ellingsen.
Then at 18:34, Grayden Hohl scored on the power play to tie the game at 2-2 heading into the second intermission.
Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Roberge who was assessed a double minor for high-sticking. Wade was cut on the play.
After end-to-end action and huge saves from both Anderson and Ellingsen, Victoria took its first lead of the game at 12:28 of the third period.
Dom Kolbeins, who had been snake bitten as of late, pounced all over a Tyler Vanuden rebound for his first goal in nine games.
With the score 3-2 in favour of the Cougars, Ryan Rae-Arthur took an untimely penalty for holding Kaelen Anderson with just over two minutes to play in regulation.
And with 45.2 ticks left on the clock and 30 seconds remaining in the penalty, Hohl notched the insurance goal of the game after he weaved himself into the slot and ripped a seeing eye shot past Ellingsen.
Victoria went 2-for-5 with the man advantage; meanwhile, the Generals finished 0-for-3.
James Scott capped off the comeback 21.7 seconds later with his seventh goal of the season. Assisting on the goal were Jake Calverley and Akila Sato-Gaudreau who extended his point streak to seven games.
Oceanside assistant coach Scott Bickerton received a game misconduct at the 20 minute mark of the third period.
During the month of November, the Cougars have seven wins and only one loss and have outscored their opponents 42 to 17 during that span.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Trent Bell recorded a hat trick and John Hawthorne stopped 35 shots to lead the Nanaimo Buccaneers to a 5-3 win over the Campbell River Storm in front of 220 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Next game for Victoria is Saturday, November 19 versus the Kerry Park Islanders. Game time at the Kerry Park Recreation Centre, located at 1035 Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Road, is 7:30 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Grayden Hohl (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)
2nd star, Mitch Popp (Goals: 0, Assists: 0)
3rd star, Brandon Roberge (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)