Storm meet Cougars in first place battle


The Victoria Cougars will play the first of three games in four nights at home this Tuesday against the league-leading Campbell River Storm.


Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 6:30 p.m.


Victoria will host the Westshore Wolves on Thursday before making the three-and-a-half kilometre drive on Friday to play the Saanich Braves.


The game versus Campbell River replaces the one originally scheduled for December 11 which was cancelled due to poor weather conditions along the Island Highway.


It will no doubt be a playoff-type atmosphere on Tuesday as these two teams are neck and neck in virtually every category.


With a record of 30-8-0-5, Victoria currently trails the Storm by one point for first place in the VIJHL overall standings.


Campbell River has one game in hand, however.


Not only are two points up for grabs, the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs are also on the line.


The Cougars extended their winning streak to four games last Friday following a 10-1 thrashing of the Peninsula Panthers.  One more win and Victoria clinches the South Island Division title for the seventh consecutive season.


Grayden Hohl, Dom Kolbeins, and James Scott scored twice for the Cougars while Nick Gomerich, Jordan Passmore, Branden Tangney, and Kaelen Anderson each chipped in with singles.


Getting the start in net was Liam McCloskey who turned aside 21 shots.


Victoria has not lost in regulation since they dropped an 8-2 decision to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings back on December 16.   Since then, the Cougars have collected 16 out of a possible 18 points.


Tyler Vanuden of Victoria is on a seven-game point streak having garnered three goals and six assists during that stretch.


Campbell River beat the Kerry Park Islanders 3-2 last Saturday to extend its win streak to eight games.


Kobe Oishi, Darren Hards, and Dylan McCann each found the back of the net before the game was 11 minutes old.


Playing against his former team, Chase Anderson was brilliant in between the pipes making 34 saves including turning aside all 15 shots fired his direction in the third period.


With a record of 33-9-0-0, the Storm captured its third straight North Island Division title with the win.


Colin Blake, who was not in the lineup against Kerry Park, is in the running to win the VIJHL scoring title.  The overage forward has 73 points and is currently tied with Nick Guerra of Saanich.


Tuesday serves as the third of four meetings this season between the Cougars and Campbell River with each team winning in their own barn.


Victoria and Storm will meet for one final time on February 17 in Campbell River.


STANDINGS:  Victoria – 1st place, 65 points, South Island Division.  Campbell River – 1st place, 66 points, North Island Division


OFFENSE:  Victoria – 2nd place, 4.35 goals for per game.  Campbell River – 1st place, 4.76 goals for per game


DEFENSE:  Victoria – 2nd place, 2.60 goals against per game.  Campbell River – 1st place, 2.48 goals against per game


TEAM LEADERS:  Victoria – Grayden Hohl, 27 goals; Grayden Hohl, 30 assists; Grayden Hohl, 57 points; Owen Dalman, 137 penalty minutes.  Campbell River – Colin Blake, 32 goals; Colin Blake, 41 assists; Colin Blake, 73 points; Brayden McCartney, 173 penalty minutes


GOALTENDERS:  Victoria – Anthony Ciurro (2.49 goals against average, .914 save percentage); Liam McCloskey (2.92 goals against average, .906 save percentage).  Campbell River – Chris Smith (2.06 goals against average, .915 save percentage); Chase Anderson (3.25 goals against average, .903 save percentage)


POWER PLAY:  Victoria – 1st place, 51-for-209, 24.40 percent.  Campbell River – 2nd place, 50-for-215, 23.26 percent


PENALTY KILL:  Victoria – 1st place, 190-for-218, 87.16 percent.  Campbell River – 2nd place, 169-for-198, 85.35 percent


SEASON SERIES:  Series tied, 1-1-0-0



September 9, 2016.  Victoria Cougars 0 @ Campbell River Storm 3

October 2, 2016.  Campbell River Storm 2 @ Victoria Cougars 4

February 17, 2017.  Victoria Cougars @ Campbell River Storm


HOME/AWAY RECORDS:  Victoria – Home, 16-4-0-1.  Campbell River – Away, 15-6-0-0


STREAKS:  Victoria, 4-0-0-0.  Campbell River, 8-0-0-0


LAST TEN:  Victoria, 7-1-0-2.  Campbell River, 9-1-0-0


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