The Victoria Cougars (30-1-0-1) will play their last game before the Christmas break when they host the Saanich Braves (22-4-0-2) in a marquee matchup tonight.
Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Rd., is 7:00 p.m.
Tonight’s game marks the fifth meeting between the top two Junior B teams in British Columbia.
Victoria took a 3-1 season series lead back on Nov. 23 after beating the Braves 2-1 in a shootout.
The head-to-head series has been tight as three of those games were decided by two goals or less.
Surprised? Not really.
Both teams mirror each other with little difference between them except the colours on their uniforms.
The Cougars enter tonight’s contest riding an eight game winning streak. Mark Van Helvoirt and his troops made it eight in a row last night following their 6-1 win over the Westshore Wolves.
Scoring for Victoria were Brody Coulter, Sam Rice, Jordan Law, Jake Daughtry, Dane Feeney, and David Marshall.
Coulter leads the league in scoring with 85 points. Rice is second with 69 points, Feeney is fourth with 54 points, Ben Kinshella is sixth with 43 points, and Garrett Brandsma is ninth with 39 points.
Evan Roch, who made his 20th start of the season, made 13 saves.
Shots on goal favoured the Cougars 41-14.
Saanich is looking for its third straight win tonight.
After dropping a 4-3 shootout decision to the Oceanside Generals back on Dec. 7, the Braves have rattled off wins over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings and Campbell River Storm.
Sitting in sole possession of third place in league scoring is Ty Jones who has 58 points. Josh Gray is seventh with 40 points while Max Mois rounds out the Top-10 with 38 points.
Saanich, who has yet to lose on the road, sits 15 points back of the South Island Division leading Cougars.
Victoria will resume regular season play at home against Westshore on Jan. 3, 2013.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 61 points, South Island Division. Saanich – 2nd place, 46 points, South Island Division
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Garrett Brandsma, 26 goals; Brody Coulter, 60 assists; Brody Coulter, 85 points; Garrett Brandsma, 102 penalty minutes. Saanich – Ty Jones, 27 goals; Ty Jones, 30 assists; Ty Jones, 57 points; Tom Dakers, 75 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Evan Roch (1.49 goals against average, .930 save percentage); Michael Herringer (2.35 goals against average, .892 save percentage). Saanich – Tanner McGaw (2.26 goals against average, .925 save percentage); Bowman Rutledge (2.84 goals against average, .885 save percentage)
SEASON SERIES: Victoria leads series, 3-1-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
October 19, 2012. Victoria Cougars 3 @ Saanich Braves 2
November 9, 2012. Victoria Cougars 6 @ Saanich Braves 2
November 22, 2012. Saanich Braves 3 @ Victoria Cougars 1
November 23, 2012. Victoria Cougars 2 @ Saanich Braves 1 (SO)
January 4, 2013. Victoria Cougars @ Saanich Braves
January 10, 2013. Saanich Braves @ Victoria Cougars
February 14, 2013. Saanich Braves @ Victoria Cougars
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 14-1-0-0. Saanich – Away, 10-0-0-0
STREAKS: Victoria, W8. Saanich, W2
LAST TEN: Victoria, 9-1-0-0. Saanich, 8-0-0-2