ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Patrick Ostermann stopped all 24 shots he faced as the Victoria Cougars shut out the Saanich Braves 2-0 on Thursday night.
The win halts a three-game losing skid for Victoria.
“Tonight was a good effort on our part,” Cougars head coach Suneil Karod said. “We played like a team.”
Michael Fradette and Alexander Benger provided the offense while Ostermann recorded his league-leading second shutout of the young season.
It was a scoreless affair until Fradette opened the scoring at 16:30 of the second period. After Jaden McNulty won the draw back to the point, Fradette unleashed a seemingly harmless wrist shot that fluttered its way through traffic and past Riley Mathieson.
Then with 19.5 seconds remaining in the same period, Alexander Benger handcuffed Mathieson from just inside the blue line after an effortless end-to-end rush.
Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Michael Sproule who had just eight seconds remaining in his high-sticking penalty.
Victoria continued to find itself in penalty trouble again in the third period after McNulty and Liam Kinshella were penalized 34 seconds apart.
But the Cougars, despite being two men down, navigated through unscathed.
It was payback for Victoria who lost its last game to these very same Braves 13 days ago.
“Having the last two weeks to practice was a good thing for us. We needed to get better and we have improved. We still have a long way to go but tonight was a step in the right direction,” Karod said.
The Cougars finished 1-for-4 on the power play; meanwhile, Saanich went 0-for-9.
Mathieson made 29 saves.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Mathieu Jallabert scored twice and added a pair of assists to lead the Nanaimo Buccaneers to an 8-2 victory over the Oceanside Generals in front of 360 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Next game for Victoria is Monday, October 9 versus the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Panorama Recreation Centre, located at 1885 Forest Park Drive, is 7:30 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Patrick Ostermann (Saves: 24, Save Percentage: 1.000)
2nd star, Riley Mathieson (Saves 29, Save Percentage: .936)
3rd star, Jaden McNulty (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)