ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The Victoria Cougars are one win away from claiming their fifth Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League championship in six years.
Tyler Pang scored the game winning goal at 5:39 of overtime to lift Victoria to a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory over the Campbell River Storm on Thursday.
With the win, the Cougars take a 3-2 series lead in the race for the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy.
Driving towards the net, Pang gobbled up a Grayden Hohl rebound and lifted the puck over Chris Smith for his fourth goal of the postseason.
Badly outplayed, Victoria had no business winning. In fact, the Storm played its best game of the series.
Campbell River led 1-0 after one period, 2-1 after two, and was 25.7 seconds away from victory.
Darren Hards, who by far was the best player on the ice, opened the scoring six minutes in after beating Anthony Ciurro through the wickets.
The Cougars responded with a goal of their own at 5:38 of the second period. On the power play, Hohl wired home a Dom Kolbeins rebound to tie the game.
Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Carter Hikichi who had served one minute and 28-seconds of his elbowing penalty up to that point.
Midway through the period, Kaelen Anderson of Victoria and Aiden Sutherland of the Storm were ejected from the game following their brouhaha.
Campbell River restored its one-goal lead at 11:41 when Dylan McCann finished off a beautiful set up by Kobe Oishi.
Then late in the third period and with Ciurro at the bench for an extra attacker, Hohl centered the puck over to Jordan Passmore who from the top of the crease, swatted the puck past Smith for the game tying goal.
Both goaltenders were sensational. Ciurro made 34 saves for the win while Smith turned aside 32 shots.
Victoria went 1-for-4 on the power play. The Storm finished 0-for-2.
Game 6 goes Saturday in Campbell River.
Game time at Rod Brind’Amour Arena, located at 225 South Dogwood Street, is 2:00 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Tyler Pang (Goals: 1, Assists, 0)
2nd star, Grayden Hohl (Goals: 1, Assists: 2)
3rd star, Shane Kime (Goals: 0, Assists: 2)