COURTENAY, B.C. – The Victoria Cougars built a four-goal lead in the second period but then had to hang on for a 4-3 win over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Saturday night.
Patrick Ostermann, who shut out these same Glacier Kings two nights ago, made 12-of-13 third period saves which included turning aside a pair of point blank shots from Kootenay Ice prospect Cody Shepheard.
Comox Valley poured it on in the third period, cutting the lead to 4-3 and outshooting the Cougars 13-1.
“We came out firing on all cylinders. Our inexperience showed in the second and third periods,” Victoria head coach Suneil Karod said. “We’re a young team with a lot to learn and we’ll spend this week fixing some problems.”
Darwin Lakoduk continued to score at an eye-popping rate, notching his second and third goals on the young season. Also lighting the lamp for the Cougars were Foster Martin and Alexander Benger.
With the win, Victoria improves to 2-0-0-0.
The Glacier Kings fall to 0-3-0-0 and have been outscored 14-3 in the process.
Getting the start in net for Comox Valley was Tanner Doucette but the 2000-born rookie from Port Alberni, B.C. was pulled after allowing three goals on ten shots. His replacement, Matt Henwood, made nine saves.
Martin opened the scoring at 1:36 of the first period after redirecting a centering pass from Akila Sato-Gaudreau.
Along with Ostermann, perhaps one of the best players on the ice was Lakoduk, who converted a 2-on-1 pass from Kyle Wade at 2:52.
“A few positives from tonight were the play of Ostermann and Lakoduk. They continue to impress me,” Karod said.
Lakoduk notched his second goal of the game at 14:24 after his snap shot from the inner hash marks of the right faceoff circle eluded Doucette.
There would be no scoring until the 16:36 mark of the second period. From the half wall, Benger threaded the puck short side over the left shoulder of Henwood to make the score 4-0.
But goals shortly thereafter from Cole Amado and Finn Withey 40 seconds apart cut the deficit in half.
Amado, who was named the game’s first star, ripped the puck past Ostermann glove side with just over 11 minutes remaining in the third period to make it a one goal game.
Comox Valley kept coming in waves but the Cougars and Ostermann were able to withstand the fury.
“It was an interesting game to say the least,” Karod said.
Both teams failed to generate any offense with the man advantage.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL: Campbell River Storm 5, Saanich Braves 4. Kerry Park Islanders 9, Peninsula Panthers 3, Oceanside Generals 2, Westshore Wolves 0.
Next game for Victoria is Thursday, September 14 versus the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre