The Cougars went into the Panorama Rec facing down the only undefeated team in the VI, the Peninsula Panthers.
The 1st was a hard fought back-and-forth affair, that saw the Cougars peppering Connor McKillop with 15 shots. It was the Panthers that were able to find the back of the net. Only 13 seconds apart they made it 2-0. First, at 11:59 Diamond-Burchuk buried his 2nd of the year from Matt Sparrow and Mackenzie Benn-Wipp. Sparrow collecting his league leading 14th point. Then at 12:12 a major defensive break-down from Victoria allowed Pelletier to snag his 5th goal of the year. Assists to Benn-Wipp and Alex Benger. That’s two former Cougars putting points on the board.
The 2nd saw the Panthers go down to a 5 on 3. They were able to kill off the first of two minors but with Wort still in the box Riley Braun short-handed made it 3-0. The Cougars look like they were going to fall victim to the power-house Panthers. Hark Gill had other ideas. With the Cougars on a 5 minute major power-play. Getting the Cougars on the board at 11:44 on the unassisted goal. His 2nd of the year. Then the Cougars got their second goal of that power-play. At 15:40 the Cougars Captain, Cam LeSergent, his 7th (tied for 1st in the league for goals), assists to Matt Clark and Johnaton Esposito.
The Cougars had some momentum into the 3rd. The final frame was fast and furious. What felt like only a minute into the period, but actually 7:03, Evan Easton split the D to tie the game at 3. Frank with the Assist. This line was sharp for the Cougars. Easton, Frank, and the returning Cougars vet Bryce Irwin. Easton’s goal was his 4th. The next 10 minutes of the period saw the Cougars grab several scoring chances and looked to hold all of the play. Then Matt Sparrow took a penalty late in the 3rd period with the game tied at 3. With the face-off in the Panthers zone, the Cougars took their time-out. Head Coach Brody Coulter was a power-play specialist during his career. A clinic of passing, holding the blue-line and forcing the defence to run-around saw Spencer Golden go bar down on the back-hand, and give the Cougars the lead late.
Now with a minute remaining the Panthers were desperate and pull the goalie. The Cougars defence held firm and 4 unanswered goals saw the Panthers lose for the first time this year. Victoria now 5-1 on the year.
The next game for the Cougars is Sunday at home, 330pm against Nanaimo.Follow the Cougars on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram.