ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The Peninsula Panthers ran into a buzz saw on Thursday night.
After rattling off back to back wins over the high octane Saanich Braves last week, Peninsula came crashing down to earth with a 6-1 loss to the Victoria Cougars.
Drew Coughlin scored the lone goal for the Panthers who opened the front end of a home & home series on a low note.
The series continues Friday night at the Panorama Recreation Centre.
Peninsula dropped to 6-20-0-3.
Meanwhile, the Cougars improved to 20-7-0-3 and moved six points up on Saanich for top spot in the South Island Division.
The Panthers received excellent goaltending from Justin Anderson but no offense.
Anderson, who spent the first half of the season with Victoria before being traded for defenseman Chase O’Keefe, turned aside 26-of-32 shots.
It could have been a lot worse had it not been for Anderson and his mammoth six-foot-four frame.
The Cougars opened the scoring 31 seconds into the game when Kyle Wade pounced all over a Kenny Britton rebound from close range.
Coughlin, who continues to show flashes of his potential as a goal scorer, wired the puck off the near post and in for his third goal of the season at 6:38.
But that would be all the scoring Peninsula could muster.
Britton notched the game winner at 15:03 when he skated out from the corner and fired the puck over Anderson.
2:03 later, Hohl gave Victoria a two-goal lead entering the first intermission.
Second period power play goals put the Cougars up 5-1.
With only nine seconds expired in Shota Yamamoto’s slashing penalty, Hohl, at 5:21, banged home a cross crease pass from Dom Kolbeins.
Mere seconds after coming out of the penalty box, Jake Calverley found Branden Tangney on a breakaway. In all alone, Tangney ripped a wrist shot over the catching glove of Anderson for his first goal as a Cougar.
The goal, which was scored at 10:40, came with Bailey Ross in the sin bin serving a team penalty for too many men on the ice.
Victoria went 2-for-3 with the man advantage.
A perfect wrist shot from the high slot by Calverley at 5:56 of the third period was the final nail in the Panthers’ coffin.
Playing without Braeden Hansen, Koby Hale, Jack McMillan, and Garnett Roberts have hamstrung Peninsula’s offense.
The Panthers managed only 25 shots on Anthony Ciurro. They also finished 0-for-8 on the power play.
Jordan Passmore had three assists, Tyler Vanuden chipped in with a pair, and Britton also had two helpers to go along with his first period goal.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Cam Nickerson scored twice and John Hawthorne made 29 saves to lead the Nanaimo Buccaneers past the Oceanside Generals 6-1 in front of 175 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Next game for Victoria is Friday, December 9 versus the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Panorama Recreation Centre, located at 1885 Forest Park Drive, is 7:30 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Kenny Britton (Goals: 1, Assists: 2)
2nd star, Jake Calverley (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)
3rd star, Tyler Vanuden (Goals: 0, Assists: 2)