The Junior ‘B’ Victoria Cougars were created in 1998 with a goal of “creating a team where graduating minor hockey players could go to continue to develop their skills at a higher level”, while continuing to pursue their studies or careers. The Cougars are the only Junior hockey team owned and operated by a non-profit society in the Victoria area.
From their inaugural year when the team won only one game all season, the Cougars have improved every season. In March 2005, the Victoria Cougars won their first VIJHL playoff championship, and won the bronze medal at the Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial championships.
They followed that up with their best regular season record in the 2006-07 season, going 39-6-0-3 for 81 points, and a winning percentage of 0.840, second best in the province. In the 2007 playoffs the Cougars won their second VIJHL playoff championship in three years. They then hosted the Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial Junior ‘B’ championships at Esquimalt’s Archie Browning Sports Centre, and won the tournament, defeating the Abbotsford Pilots 4-1 to earn the title of best Junior ‘B’ team in the province in their ninth year of operation.
The Cougars success on the ice continues: The Cougars have been one of the top two teams in the VIJHL regular season for the last twelve straight years, capturing the regular season championship eight times including the last seven straight seasons (2010/11 through 2016/17). The Cougars have been the VIJHL Playoff finals for ten of the last twelve seasons since 2005, capturing seven VIJHL playoff championships (2005, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2016).
In the 2011/12 season, the Cougars lost only six games finishing with 73 points in 42 games and a winning percentage of .869, the best in Cougars history, and tops in the province.The Cougars swept their opponents in the playoffs and captured the silver medal at the Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial championships, narrowly missing the gold in double overtime to the Abbotsford Pilots.
Incredibly, the Cougars topped that performance in the 2012/13 season. In 48 games, the Cougars lost only one game in regulation and two in a shootout, capturing 92 of a possible 96 points for a winning percentage of 0.959, the best Junior record in Canada. The Cougars made the gold medal match at the Cyclone Taylor Cup for the second straight year, and won the silver medal.
After turning over almost half the team, including the top two scorers (Brody Coulter, Sam Rice) and the goalie with the best GAA in VIJHL history (Evan Roch), fan expectations were not high for the 2013/14 season. However, the Cougars continued to dominate the league in the 2013/14 season, finishing with another regular season title. In process they scored the most goals (225), while allowing the fewest (92). Their power-play continued to dominate the league (#1 at 29.35%), as well as the penalty kill (#1 at 90.48%), and all of this without a single player in the top 5 in scoring. It was truly a team effort.
The 2013/14 success continued into the 2014 playoffs, where the Cougars captured their 6th VIJHL playoff title since 2005 and their third in a row (2012-2014). At the 2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup in Nelson, the Cougars won the bronze medal.
After losing a close fight in the 2015 VIJHL Playoffs, the Cougars rebounded in 2016 to win their seventh VIJHL playoff title in the past twelve seasons. At the 2016 Cyclone Taylor Cup, the Cougars swept the round-robin segment to finish first overall, losing a close game 5-4 to the 100 Mile House Wranglers in the final minute, finishing the tournament with a silver medal.
In the 2016/17 season, the Cougars won their seventh straight regular season championships, (35-8-5-75) edging out the Campbell River Storm (34-12-0-2-70). The two teams met in the VIJHL finals for the third year in a row. The series went to seven games with the Cougars suffering a heart-breaking 4-3 loss in a four overtime marathon. Goalie Anthony Ciurro faced 82 shots in the game.
The Cougars have now been in the VIJHL Finals for ELEVEN of their last thirteen seasons.
With their success, the fan base has steadily increased over the past fifteen seasons from less that 100 fans in 1998 to an average regular season crowd of 400 fans, and up to 900 fans during their playoff run.