Last night at the Arch the Panthers had a bit more jump and finish and defeated the Cougars 4-1 to close the gap on the season series.
The Panthers Drew Coughlin was a force all night. Taking a Jonah Ragsdale pass and taking advantage of a Cougars defensive miscue early. Coughlin drove straight up the middle from the blue line uncontested and deposited the puck high glove side on Cougars starter Jonah Chambers. The goal was scored at the 1 minute mark.
The Panthers took a 2-0 lead while on the PP and Riley Braun parked in his office to the right of the goal. He one timed a pass into the back of the net. It was at 6:16 of the first with assists to Josh Lingard and Skyler Diamond-Burchuk. The Cougars had a couple of late power plays but were unable to beat Panthers Connor McKillop. Shots after one were 14-13 in favour of the Cougars.
In the second Zack Guerra put the Cougars within 1 on the PP with a nice tip in front. The goal was at 15:05 with assists to Dawson Blanchette and Spencer Golden. At 17:56 it was Coughlin again taking the puck from the right side of the net. He put a backhand on net that Chambers stopped but slid the rebound 5 hole to restore the 2 goal lead for the Panthers. The second ended with Victoria outshooting the visitors 13-9.
In the third the Cougars tried as they might but the Panthers defensive game was definitely on as they kept the Cougars to the outside with not many quality chances. The game ended at 4-1 after Tanner Wort scored into the empty net at 19:40. Assist went to Josh Lingard.
The Players of the game were Coughlin for the Panthers and Zack Guerra for the Cougars.
Next game for the Cougars is tonight at Pearkes Arena in Saanich where the Cougars take on the surging Saanich Braves. Game time is 6:30.Follow the Cougars on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram.