ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Mitch Popp haunted his former team by scoring the game winner as the Westshore Wolves skated past the Victoria Cougars 5-4 in one of two VIJHL games played on Thursday night.
It was the first ever win for Westshore at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.
The Wolves (9-13-2-1) have become somewhat of a dragon slayer as of late, having beaten the high-octane Saanich Braves last night and then Victoria tonight.
Grayden Hohl scored twice for the Cougars who also got goals from Kenny Britton and Dom Kolbeins.
Victoria jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead but then had to come from behind on two separate occasions before succumbing to its second loss in a row.
Parker Ellis, who has been a godsend since coming over from the Kerry Park Islanders in late October, scored his 6th and 7th goals of the season. Rookie forwards Jordan Guiney and Cameron Coutre also replied for Westshore.
Coming down the left side, Britton sent a quick wrist shot top-shelf blocker side on Liam Akins at 1:46 of the first period to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
Hohl made it 2-0 at 15:55.
The Wolves cut the lead in half when Guiney, at 18:13, weaved through a pair of defenders and slipped the puck past Justin Anderson for a power play goal.
Two goals on eight shots chased Akins who was replaced at the start of the second period by Jordan Spandli.
Westshore tied the game when Ellis tipped in a centering pass from Tyler Carpendale at 1:51.
Ellis gave Westshore its first lead of the game at 5:09 on a shot that beat Anderson through the wickets.
Victoria tied it back up at 3-3 on a power play goal from Kolbeins at 11:02. Assisting on the goal were Nick Gomerich and Hohl.
Exactly one second after Britton stepped out of the sin bin, Coutre, at 13:47, put the Wolves ahead once again.
Starting to get lit up like a Christmas tree, Anderson was chased after surrendering four goals on 19 shots. Anthony Ciurro replaced Anderson in goal.
Hohl tied the game at 16:20.
There would be no scoring until the 5:51 mark of the third period. Popp, who was traded to the Wolves along with Gregory Maggio in exchange for Branden Tangney just over a week ago, wired a perfect wrist shot over the right shoulder of Ciurro for the game winner.
Victoria (18-7-0-3) had numerous chances in the final five minutes of regulation but could not get anything past Spandli who finished with 20 saves.
Ciurro stopped three shots in relief.
The Cougars finished 1-for-4 with the man advantage; meanwhile, Westshore finished 1-for-6.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Trent Bell and Danny Pion each had a pair of goals to lift the Nanaimo Buccaneers to a 10-3 win over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in front of 215 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Next game for Victoria is Sunday, December 4 versus the Kerry Park Islanders. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 1:30 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Mitch Popp (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)
2nd star, Grayden Hohl (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)
3rd star, Parker Ellis (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)