ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Parker Ellis scored his second goal of the game 37 seconds into overtime to give the Westshore Wolves a 5-4 win against the Victoria Cougars on Thursday.
Although Westshore staved off elimination, it still trails the best-of-7 series 3-2.
Game 6 is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at the Juan de Fuca Arena.
It was another nail-biting affair. There were lots of goals, lead changes, spectacular saves, blocked shots, end-to-end action, and bone crushing hits.
The Wolves led 3-1 at one point in the second period only to have Victoria answer back with three consecutive goals, one of which came on the power play.
Akila Sato-Gaudreau opened the scoring for the Cougars at 3:39 of the first period when he banged home an Owen Dalman rebound, just seconds after Tyler Carpendale stepped out of the penalty box.
Westshore tied the game on a goal by Eamon Duffy at 7:15. Rushing up the left wing, Duffy wired a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle that beat Liam McCloskey high glove side.
McCloskey got the start in net to give Anthony Ciurro a well-deserved rest.
The Wolves took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. On the power play, Mitch Popp had his point shot redirected in by Ellis with only 52 seconds showing on the clock.
There would be no scoring until the 9:25 mark of the middle frame. Eight seconds into the man advantage, Duffy notched his second goal of the game from the top of the blue paint.
Initially, the goal was waived off by referee Kelby Wittich. But after consulting with fellow referee Steve Brown and linesmen Jeff MacAdams and Riley Paddock, the goal counted as it should have in the first place.
Cruising along, so they thought, Westshore opened up a can of trouble by allowing three goals in a span of two minutes and two seconds.
Branden Tangney pulled the Cougars to within one after sliding a seemingly harmless shot past Jordan Spandli at 17:31. The goal by Tangney, his third of the playoffs, came on the power play.
Then at 19:06, Dom Kolbeins tied the game off a beautiful give-and-go with Tyler Vanuden.
The Cougars capped off a wild second period with 26.5 seconds remaining. From a sharp angle, Kenny Britton banked the puck off Jordan Guiney and in.
All of a sudden, Victoria regained the lead.
Guiney, however, tied the game with a power play marker at 4:34 of the third period.
The Cougars dodged a bullet late in regulation when Westshore received a two-man advantage for one minute and 47-seconds. Surprisingly, the Wovles did not register a shot on goal.
And for the second time in three games, the two teams went to overtime.
Rushing up the right wing, Ellis cut through the goal mouth and backhanded the puck through the legs of McCloskey for the game winner.
Shots on goal favoured the Cougars, 37-34.
Victoria went 1-for-5 on the power play; meanwhile, the Wolves finished 3-for-7.
Chaz Reddekopp, defenseman for the Victoria Royals and a prospect of the Los Angeles Kings, was in attendance.
Fans left the Archie Browning Sports Centre exhausted and in awe as to what they witnessed for two hours and 18 minutes.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL: Kerry Park Islanders 3, Saanich Braves 0 (Islanders lead series 3-2). Nanaimo Buccaneers 7, Comox Valley Glacier Kings 1 (Buccaneers win series 4-1).
Next game for Victoria is Saturday, March 4 versus the Westshore Wolves. Game time at the Juan de Fuca Arena, located at 1767 Old Island Highway, is 4:30 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Parker Ellis (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2nd star, Jordan Spandli (Saves: 33, Save Percentage: .892)
3rd star, Shane Kime (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)