ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The Victoria Cougars downed the Kerry Park Islanders 7-4 in a penalty filled game on Sunday afternoon.
A combined 90 minutes were handed out between the two divisional rivals.
Nick Gomerich (2), Liam Kinshella (2), Dom Kolbeins (2), and Tyler Pang scored for the Cougars who won for the first time in three games.
Chipping in with three assists each were Grayden Hohl and Tyler Vanuden.
With the win, Victoria moved four points ahead of the idle Saanich Braves for top spot in the South Island Division. Saanich, however, has two games in hand on the Cougars.
Jarrett Malloch, Jordan Martin, Kayden Peck, and Joey McGuire replied in a losing cause.
Kerry Park finished the game with 72 minutes in penalties with 30 of those coming from Will Connors. The 18-year-old rookie import from Richland, Washington received two ten-minute misconducts and a game misconduct.
Malloch opened the scoring 33 seconds into the game, deflecting a Geoff LaMorre point shot past Liam McCloskey.
Trailing 1-0, Victoria had a chance to capitalize on the man advantage. Instead, Martin took a pass from Caleb Franklin and slipped the puck five-hole on McCloskey to give the Islanders a two goal lead at 2:55.
Kinshella, who has not played since getting injured on October 15, waited for Chase Anderson to commit before wiring home his first goal of the season. Assisting on the goal, which was scored at 4:33, were Jordan Passmore and Akila Sato-Gaudreau.
Kerry Park restored its two goal lead when Peck intercepted a pass from Pang and finished the play with a seeing-eye shot that sailed over the left shoulder of McCloskey at 12:43.
After allowing three goals on four shots, McCloskey, who was making his VIJHL debut after stints with the Prince George Spruce Kings and Whitecourt Wolverines earlier in the season, was pulled.
McCloskey could not be faulted on any of the three goals that got past him before he was replaced by Anthony Ciurro. His teammates simply left him out to dry.
And then, all of a sudden, the floodgates opened.
Kolbeins pulled Victoria back to within a goal at 15:13 when his shot through a screen eluded Anderson.
1:58 into the second period, Kinshella twinkled the twine from the top of the right faceoff circle for his second goal of the afternoon to tie the game at 3-3.
Then at 6:36, on a power play, Gomerich snapped the puck over the catching glove of Anderson from the high slot. Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was McGuire who had 59 seconds remaining in his slashing penalty.
Gomerich made it 5-3 after converting a drop pass from Vanuden into a goal at 13:55.
Playing four-on-four, Pang doubled the lead with two minutes remaining in the period when his backhander from the top of the blue paint was mishandled by Anderson.
McGuire and Kolbeins exchanged third period goals.
Final shots were 45-13 in favour of Victoria who outshot the Islanders 13-3 in the final period of play.
Defenseman Chase O’Keefe made his Cougars debut after he got traded from the Peninsula Panthers in exchange for goaltender Justin Anderson a couple of days ago. O’Keefe rang the puck off the cross bar late in the game.
Victoria finished the afternoon 1-for-13 on the power play while the Islanders were 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
Forwards Ty Berger, Samson McLean, and Scott Smith, defenseman Kyle Bell, Connor Bissett, and Tanner Browne, and goaltender Rett Rook did not play for Kerry Park who has been hit with a bad case of the injury bug.
At the 20-minute mark of the third period, Peck received a double minor for spearing Passmore at centre ice.
Next game for Victoria is Thursday, December 8 versus the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Liam Kinshella (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2nd star, Dom Kolbeins (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
3rd star, Nick Gomerich (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)