PARKSVILLE, B.C. – The Victoria Cougars scored three unanswered third period goals to come from behind and defeat the Oceanside Generals 5-3 in one of three VIJHL games on tap Saturday night.
It looked as though Victoria would suffer its second loss in a row when Stratton Pickett found the back of the net giving the Generals its first lead of the game with just under ten minutes remaining in regulation.
But goals from Jordan Passmore, Tyler Vanuden, and Nick Gomerich sealed the deal for the Cougars (27-8-0-5).
Deadlocked at three goals apiece, Vanuden took a pass from Grayden Hohl at the Oceanside blue line and skated in alone on Wesley Jon Ellingsen. Vanuden, who has been scorching hot of late, beat Ellingsen with a nifty backhander for the game winner at 13:59.
The win moves Victoria six points up on the second place Saanich Braves for top spot in the South Island Division.
Also scoring for the Cougars were Owen Dalman and Kyle Wade.
Victoria outshot the Generals 48-37 in a game that featured only three minor penalties and a first period fight between Liam Kinshella and Max Creighton.
Landon Dziadyk and Blake McCulloch replied for Oceanside who failed to gain any ground on the Kerry Park Islanders for the seventh and final guaranteed playoff spot.
The Generals (10-25-1-1) sit eight points back of Kerry Park with one game in hand. The two teams meet in Mill Bay Sunday afternoon.
James Scott had three assists for the Cougars who also got a 34 save performance from Liam McCloskey.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL: Westshore Wolves 3, Comox Valley Glacier Kings 2. Nanaimo Buccaneers 7, Peninsula Panthers 3.
Next game for Victoria is Wednesday, January 25 versus the Westshore Wolves. Game time at The Q Centre, located at 1767 Old Island Highway, is 7:00 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Wesley Jon Ellingsen (Saves: 43, Save Percentage: .896)
2nd star, Tyler Vanuden (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
3rd star, Caleb Griffin (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)