ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Patrick Ostermann stopped 41 shots as the Victoria Cougars blanked the Westshore Wolves 3-0 on Thursday night.
Victoria now takes a two game series lead.
Mateo Albinati tallied twice, Matthew Sparrow scored once, and Kyle Wade added a pair of helpers in the victory.
The Cougars found the back of the net in each period.
Albinati opened the scoring 8:44 in on the easiest goal he will ever score. After taking a cross-ice pass from Wade, Foster Martin waited until the last second for goaltender Jordan Spandli to commit before slinging the puck across the crease to Albinati.
Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Clark Pickup who had all but 27 seconds expired in his tripping penalty.
Victoria had a chance to extend its lead later in the period when Darwin Lakoduk was awarded a penalty shot but his scoring attempt failed.
Lakoduk, who led the Cougars in scoring during the regular season, was presented the Larry Lamoureaux Trophy (VIJHL Rookie of the Year) before the game by VIJHL president Barb Byrne.
A slashing penalty to Kieran Cardinal resulted in another power play for Victoria.
Making a bee-line towards the net, Albinati scored his second of the game after redirecting a Wade pass behind Spandli at 6:57 of the second period.
Cardinal had 84 seconds remaining in his infraction.
The Cougars finished 2-for-3 with the man advantage while Westshore went 0-for-4.
In the third period, the Wolves peppered Ostermann with 14 shots. Andy Westhaver had a glorious chance from the top of the blue paint only to be foiled twice by Ostermann.
With one minute and 28-seconds remaining in regulation, Spandli was pulled for an extra attacker. Westshore then received a 6-on-4 advantage when Cougars defenseman Carl Ewert was penalized for tripping four seconds later.
However, Sparrow added a shorthanded, empty net goal with 15.6 seconds left.
The game was a feisty affair throughout as many of the meetings between these two teams have been this season. Liam Kinshella and Cameron Coutre were jostling with each other all game.
Spandli made 26 saves.
The Wolves proved that hockey is a game of inches by hitting the post twice in the first period and once more in the second.
Game 3 goes Saturday, February 24. Game time at The Q Centre.