Sunday’s game against the Panthers was the second home game in four days versus the rivals from Peninsula. The whole 60 minutes on Thursday was fast and hard hitting. The Cougars came away with the win but both teams racked up 147 penalty minutes combined. Most coming in the third. That billed the rematch just a few days later to follow suit. These teams don’t like each other, and four days isn’t enough time for the bruises to heal and the mind to forget.
The first saw both teams not afraid to toss the body around, but it wasn’t nearly as rough and chippy as last game. Booker Chacalias opened the scoring at 5:54 on the power play. A beauty dangle out front off the Albinati pass put the Cougars up 1-0 in a game that was basically all Victoria for the first 20 minutes. David Edgar had other plans as he tied the game up at 16:38 on a give away turned break away and beat Cam Stevenson blocker side.
The second turned out to be faster and harder hitting. A lot of battles in front of both nets and one that led to the goalie interference call against Chacalias. This lead to a PP goal from Carson Cox to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead at the 10:18 mark. Only a few minutes later the momentum shifted for the Cougars and stayed that way for the rest of the second period. Lingard took a holding penalty and it only took the Cougars power play 14 seconds to make the Panthers pay. Marhsall Brown capped off an amazing passing play that the Panthers keeper Akerman still hasn’t seen. Things kept rolling as the Cougars took the lead really late in the third with Albinati potting his 15th goal of the season with 13 seconds left in the period. The Cougars had all the momentum and the lead heading into the third.
It looked like the momentum was going to help the Cougars cruise to an easy win, but the Panthers had other ideas. The Cougars scored at 8:49 on a Bryce Irwin goal from the sharpest angle possible. Standing in the left wing corner, behind the goal line, Irwin tossed the puck at the net and bounced the puck off of Akerman to extend the lead. Most people in the building expected this to be the end of the Panthers. The Panthers tried to play spoilers. Josh Lingard on the Power Play at 15:18 brought the Panthers to within 1. The last 5 minutes of the game were all Panthers. Peppering the net with shot after shot, it looked like we might see overtime. Cam Stevenson stood tall for the Cougars even with his teammates taking penalties and having a hard time getting to puck out of the zone. With only a few seconds to go the Panthers still poured it on.
Time ran out for the Panthers. If the game was a minute longer the story might be different. The Cougars have now won eight in a row. Albinati, Chacalias, and JC Ingram all collected 2 points each. The Cougars have extended their lead in the league standings to 6 points.
Next up for Victoria is Nanaimo 0n Thursday at 715pm on the road. Next home game is November 8th at 7pm vs Westshore.
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