COUGARS SEASON ENDS WITH QUADRUPLE OVERTIME LOSS

ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Christian Brandt scored the game winner at 4:48 of quadruple overtime to propel the Campbell River Storm to a 4-3 win over the Victoria Cougars and secure a berth at the 2017 Cyclone Taylor Cup.

The Storm claimed its second VIJHL Championship Series in three years.

In a game which lasted four hours and 22 minutes, Brandt scooped up a loose puck in the offensive zone, skated behind the net, put on the brakes, skated back the way he came from, spun, and then fired a wrist shot past Anthony Ciurro from an impossible angle.

Ciurro was beaten on the 85th Campbell River shot.

With the game not even two minutes old, the Storm jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

33 seconds in and on an odd-man rush, Carter Hikichi fed a pass to Sheldon Brett on the right wing who one-timed the puck past the outstretched reach of Ciurro.

Colin Blake made it 2-0 at 1:43 after pouncing on a Mitch Williams rebound and picking the top corner of the net with a wrist shot from the high slot.

After the goal, the large contingent of Storm fans that filled Sections 10 and 11 inside the Archie Browning Sports Centre, erupted into a frenzy.

Dom Kolbeins, who scored his first of two goals, cut the lead in half on a power play with 31.7 seconds remaining in the period.

The score remained 2-1 in favour of Campbell River until the 14:37 mark of the second period when Grayden Hohl was sprung loose on a breakaway.  After taking a stretch pass from Jordan Passmore, Hohl skated in and beat Chris Smith with a backhander.

The Storm restored its one-goal lead on a goal by Hikichi at 16:59.  After Blake picked up his own rebound, he found a wide open Hikichi for the easy tap in.

And just like the first period, the Cougars scored late.

On another power play, Kolbeins split the Campbell River defense and beat Smith short side for his league-leading 12th goal of the postseason with 39.7 seconds remaining.

Victoria went 2-for-3 on the power play while the Storm finished 0-for-3.

Chances were exchanged by both teams in the third period but nothing was settled.

In the second overtime period, Darren Hards of the Storm had a chance to end the game but his shot rang off the goal post.  And in the third overtime period, Blake wired the puck off the crossbar.

Shots on goal favoured Campbell River 44-19 in overtime and 85-50 overall.

For Brandt, it was his first game winning goal of the playoffs.

VIJHL president Barb Byrne was on hand after the game to present Blake and the rest of the Storm players with the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy.

Campbell River now joins the Aldergrove Kodiaks (PJHL champions), Beaver Valley Nitehawks (KIJHL champions), and Creston Valley Thunder Cats (Host) at the 2017 Cyclone Taylor Cup which runs April 6-9.

 

BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:

1st star, Christian Brandt (Goals:  1, Assists:  0)

2nd star, Anthony Ciurro (Saves:  81, Save Percentage:  .953)

3rd star, Chris Smith (Saves:  47, Save Percentage:  .940)