ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The Comox Valley Glacier Kings have been ice cold all season.
But on Thursday, they were scorching hot.
Matteo Giomo and Ty Madden each scored twice, newcomer Noah Giesbrecht stopped 31 shots, and Comox Valley surprised the Victoria Cougars 5-2 at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.
The win snaps a six game losing skid for the Glacier Kings who won for only the third time in 19 games.
Comox Valley entered the game with the VIJHL’s worst offense, scoring at a clip of 2.39 goals per game. Their defense has not been any better, giving up a league worst 5.22 goals per game.
On Thursday, that all changed.
The Glacier Kings erupted for three goals before the first period was even half over.
Giomo scored his first of two goals only two minutes in when his sharp angle shot bounced off the back of goaltender Connor McKillop and in.
Then at 8:43, with the two teams playing four aside, Giomo gobbled up a loose puck and fired it home for his sixth goal of the season.
Madden, on the power play, made it 3-0 only 41 seconds later when his shot sailed over the right shoulder of McKillop.
After the goal, McKillop was pulled after he allowed his third goal on six shots.
Things went from bad to worse for Victoria. Jaden McNulty left the game late in the first period with an apparent injury and did not return.
The Cougars finally solved Giesbrecht at 3:16 of the middle frame. From the point, JC Ingram fired a wrist shot through traffic for his first goal of the season.
Liam Kinshella, who had missed the last two games due to an illness, took exception to a hit on teammate Zefan Pighin from Willie Daigneault two minutes later. Both players went toe-to-toe in a spirited fight.
Comox Valley restored its three-goal lead at 11:38 when Madden skated in on a breakaway and beat Patrick Ostermann through the wickets to make it 4-1.
Three consecutive Glacier Kings penalties late in the game gave Victoria a chance to win its third game in a row. The Cougars managed to score on only one of those power plays, dropping their record to nine wins and seven losses.
At 16:41, Akila Sato-Gaudreau unleashed a wicked wrist shot, high glove side, for his third power play goal of the season.
Ben Alexander added an empty net goal for Comox Valley with 14.9 seconds remaining in regulation.
Victoria finished 1-for-6 on the power play; meanwhile, the Glacier Kings went 1-for-4.
On paper, this was a favourable matchup for the Cougars. Instead, they were outworked and had more turnovers than a bakery.
Ostermann made 21 saves in relief.
And speaking of goalkeepers, Comox Valley has found a keeper in Giesbrecht. It appears that Giesbrecht has found a home after spending time in both the Pacific Junior Hockey League and Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
18-year-old defenseman Landon Kitchen, who was acquired from the Kelowna Chiefs of the KIJHL earlier in the week, was one of the few bright spots for Victoria.
Kelowna received future considerations from the Cougars in the deal.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Mathieu Jallabert had a goal and two assists to pace the Nanaimo Buccaneers to a 3-2 win over the Kerry Park Islanders in front of 320 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Next game for Victoria is Sunday, November 12 versus the Westshore Wolves. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 3:30 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Matteo Giomo (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2nd star, Ty Madden (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
3rd star, Noah Giesbrecht (Saves: 31, Save Percentage: .939)