The Victoria Cougars host the Peninsula Panthers tonight to kick off the unofficial second half of their season.
Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
It will have been 20 days since the last time Victoria played.
The Cougars last game was on Friday, December 16 when they lost 8-2 to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Prior to, Victoria had rattled off five straight wins.
Tonight marks the seventh of eight meetings between the Cougars and Panthers with Victoria coming out on top each time. The Cougars have outscored Peninsula 38-14 through those six games.
Sporting a record of 23-8-0-3, Victoria currently sits two points up on the second place Saanich Braves for top spot in the South Island Division. On Tuesday, the Braves beat Comox Valley 4-3 in double overtime.
Saanich hosts the Cougars in a key and crucial matchup tomorrow.
Grayden Hohl, who played the past one-and-a-half seasons with Peninsula, leads all Victoria scorers with 22 goals and 23 assists.
The Cougars made two moves this week. 19-year-old defenseman Shane Kime is in while fellow 19-year-old defenseman Daniyal Nussipakynov is out.
Expect Kime to be in the lineup tonight.
Sitting last in the VIJHL with a record of 7-24-0-3, the Panthers enter tonight having won their last game. On Friday, December 30, Peninsula knocked off the Westshore Wolves 4-2.
Marshall Brown led the way with a pair of goals while Kai Turner and Duncan Cochrane each added singles. Picking up his first win of the season was Liam Tutte who turned aside 19 shots.
After the Panthers acquired goaltender Justin Anderson from Victoria at the beginning of December, then-starter Shawn Parkinson was traded to the Wolves over the Christmas holiday in exchange for future considerations.
Michael Sproule, Josh Poland, and Drew Coughlin lead Peninsula in team scoring with 24 points apiece.
With the January 10 trade deadline just around the corner, the Panthers have several assets still to be shopped.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL tonight, the Glacier Kings 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.hockeytv.com to be connected to the live action.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 49 points, South Island Division. Peninsula – 5th place, 17 points, South Island Division
OFFENSE: Victoria – 2nd place, 4.15 goals for per game. Peninsula – 9th place, 2.59 goals for per game
DEFENSE: Victoria – 2nd place, 2.68 goals against per game. Peninsula – 9th place, 5.24 goals against per game
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Grayden Hohl, 22 goals; Grayden Hohl, 23 assists; Grayden Hohl, 45 points; Owen Dalman, 109 penalty minutes. Peninsula – Michael Sproule, 12 goals; Drew Coughlin, 20 assists; Michael Sproule, Josh Poland, Drew Coughlin, 24 points; Garnett Roberts, 84 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Anthony Ciurro (2.56 goals against average, .912 save percentage); Liam McCloskey (3.69 goals against average, .859 save percentage). Peninsula – Justin Anderson (3.22 goals against average, .889 save percentage); Liam Tutte (5.51 goals against average, .833 save percentage)
POWER PLAY: Victoria – 1st place, 39-for-170, 22.94 percent. Peninsula – 8th place, 26-for-197, 13.20 percent
PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 1st place, 149-for-169, 88.17 percent. Peninsula – 7th place, 145-for-182, 79.67 percent
SEASON SERIES: Victoria leads series, 6-0-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
September 15, 2016. Peninsula Panthers 3 @ Victoria Cougars 4
September 30, 2016. Victoria Cougars 7 @ Peninsula Panthers 4
November 3, 2016. Peninsula Panthers 2 @ Victoria Cougars 7
November 11, 2016. Victoria Cougars 7 @ Peninsula Panthers 2
December 8, 2016. Peninsula Panthers 1 @ Victoria Cougars 6
December 9, 2016. Victoria Cougars 7 @ Peninsula Panthers 2
February 3, 2017. Victoria Cougars @ Peninsula Panthers
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 13-4-0-1. Peninsula – Away, 4-13-0-1
STREAKS: Victoria, 0-1-0-0. Peninsula, 1-0-0-0
LAST TEN: Victoria, 7-3-0-0. Peninsula, 3-7-0-0