Thursday the Wolves came into the Arch hungry for a win. The night previous the former Cougar Anderson Violette backstopped his new club, Saanich, to a 8-0 pounding against Westshore. The Wolves felt the sting of an embarrassing loss and didn’t want to repeat it.
Unfortunately, the Cougars didn’t put up much of a fight. They played like kittens, not Cougars. A lackluster effort coupled with a solid 60 from the visiting Wolves saw a 3-0 loss. The first loss to Westshore this season, and the first of 2019.
Westshore got off to a quick start. 18 seconds quick. Matteo Giomo jumped on Victoria to grab the game-winning goal hardly after the game even started. Right off the opening draw, the Wolves took advantage of a defensive miscue to pot a goal on the first shot.
The second period was much of the same. The Cougars had a hard time getting passes to where they wanted. Lots of passes to empty wings passes into feet, passes to the other team… When they did manage to settle the puck into the offensive zone cycling the puck looked forced and unnatural. Plenty of shots went right into the logo of Goaltender Jordan Spandli. Not to take anything away from Spandli as he played a hell of a game, making a few saves that would have been right at home on the TSN plays of the week. But the Cougars also gave him plenty of gifts to pad his stats a bit.
The third was uneventful for Victoria. The shot totals don’t really tell the tale as they managed to toss lots at the net, but most weren’t very threatening. Their power-play was lethargic and looked very house league going 0 for 5.
After all that thrashing on Victoria there are a few positives from last night. Mateo Albinati and Matthew Berryman made their Cougars returns after long bouts with injuries that kept them sidelined for weeks. Berryman was especially fantastic in his return earning Player of the Game honors for Victoria.
This is a game the Cougars need to quickly forget. They have Oceanside Saturday on the road, and the Generals just beat the Buccaneers. A better effort and to get over the turkey hangover should see Victoria return to their winning ways.