ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The Victoria Cougars extended their winning streak to five games following a 5-2 win over the Campbell River Storm on Tuesday.
With the win, Victoria claimed its seventh consecutive South Island Division title and moved one point ahead of the Storm into sole possession of first place overall in the VIJHL.
Campbell River has one game in hand, however.
Owen Dalman scored twice for the Cougars who led 2-1 after one period and 4-2 after two. Akila Sato-Gaudreau, Kyle Wade, and Dom Kolbeins also lit the lamp for Victoria, and Anthony Ciurro stopped 30 shots.
Carter Hikichi potted both goals for the Storm.
Coming into the game, Campbell River had won eight games in a row.
Sato-Gaudreau opened the scoring at 8:09.
Over two minutes later, Sheldon Brett of the Storm took a puck to the face that caused blood to drip onto the ice. Tough-as-nails, Brett returned to the game.
Not so lucky was his teammate Dawson Frank who was knocked out of the game late in the first period. After colliding with Tyler Pang, the North Island Silvertips product skated to the bench hunched over and in obvious pain.
Hikichi tied the game at 12:29.
Then at 16:56, Wade gave Victoria a 2-1 lead entering the middle frame.
Campbell River thought they evened the game up three minutes in on a goal by Colin Blake. That was until referee Riley Friesen determined that the puck had rung off the post.
Kolbeins, who extended his point streak to four games, blew the puck past Chris Smith at 6:41 for his 11th goal of the season.
Smith finished with 33 saves.
On a delayed penalty and with Smith pulled for an extra attacker, Hikichi pulled the Storm to within one with Blake and Trevor Bottomley getting credited for the assists at 16:52.
Blake, who finished the game with one point, remains tied with Nick Guerra of the Saanich Braves in the VIJHL scoring race. Both players have 74 points apiece.
Victoria doubled its lead with 31.9 seconds remaining in the period when Dalman scored off a breakaway.
Dalman added a power play goal at 12:53 of the third period to round out the scoring.
The Cougars went 1-for-5 with the man advantage; meanwhile, Campbell River ended up 0-for-2.
Kime finished with four assists.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Nick Guerra scored once but it was not enough as the Saanich Braves fell 3-2 to the hometown Kerry Park Islanders.
Next game for Victoria is Thursday, February 9 versus the Westshore Wolves. 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, Shane Kime (Goals: 0, Assists: 4)
2nd star, Owen Dalman (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
3rd star, Anthony Ciurro (Saves: 30, Save Percentage: .938)