MILL BAY, B.C. – It was an uphill battle from the get go.
With only 15 skaters, three short of the minimum required, the Victoria Cougars overcame a short bench to pull off a 3-1 win against the Kerry Park Islanders on Sunday afternoon.
Kyle Wade scored twice for Victoria who moved into sole possession of second place in the South Island Division.
The Cougars led 2-0 after one period and 2-1 after two.
Just shortly after Wade gave Victoria a two goal cushion, Matthew Sparrow received a penalty for high-sticking with 67 seconds remaining in the third period.
Kerry Park pulled J.J. Pichette for an extra attacker making it a six-on-four but Brandon McClintick negated the power play when he was sent off for cross-checking 36 seconds later.
Darwin Lakoduk opened the scoring just over two minutes in after he banged home an Alexander Benger rebound for his team leading 10th goal.
Then at 15:14, Wade beat Pichette stick side to make it a two goal game.
Brandon Wilson cut the deficit in half with a solo effort at 9:08 for the only goal of the second period.
But Wade’s second goal of the game would prove to be the difference maker. With just over two minutes remaining in regulation, Wade scored with Pichette sprawled on the ice.
Shots on goal favoured Victoria, 34-31.
Patrick Ostermann made several key saves late in the game to preserve the victory.
The Cougars went 0-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mateo Albinati, a natural forward, was moved to defense for the game and Tyler Magnuson was called up for the first time this season.
Next game for Victoria is Thursday, November 9 versus the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
1st star, Kyle Wade (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2nd star, Joe Leakey (Goals: 0, Assists: 0)
3rd star, Patrick Ostermann (Saves: 30, Save Percentage: .968)