Wow! What a game last night at the Archie Browning Arena in Esquimalt!
The Victoria Cougars were only able to put one puck past visiting Oceanside Generals net minder Jacob Sweet but that is all they would need for the win.
The Cougars buzzed the Oceanside net often and at 15:29 of the first period it would be none other than league leading scorer Mateo Albinati who would squeeze the puck past Sweet from Booker Chacalias and Nathan Ingram. The Cougars managed 17 shots to Oceanside’s 8 in the first.
The Cougars would then put 11 shots on Sweet in the second and 18 in the third for a total of 46. Sweet always seemed to be there to shut the door on the Cougars.
Late in the second period Generals captain Ryan Ignace would drive Cougar Captain Carl Ewert from behind into the end boards. Ewert lay on the ice for a long time and was attended to by Cougars Athletic Therapist, Robert Zadra. Ewert finally started to get up and had his helmet removed to expose a large gash on his nose from his cage. A large puddle of blood had to be scraped off the ice before the final 7 seconds of the period could be played. Ewert did not return to the game and Ignace got 5 and a game for check from behind.
Sweet again stood tall through the 4:43 power play time to start the third.
In all this we can’t downplay the play of Cougars goal tender Owen Sikkes. Sikkes, who hails from Smithers, B.C., recently joined the Cougars from the Beaver Valley Nighthawks of the KIJHL. Owen didn’t have as many shots on goal but made at least 3 outstanding saves that would normally have been a goal to backstop his team to the win. He made 18 saves for his first shutout as a Cougar.
The Cougars top line of Mateo Albinati, Booker Chacalias and Tyler Vanuden were dangerous and buzzing every time they took the ice. In my opinion this is the top line in the VIJHL. Keep an eye on these guys in the games to come.
In the end it was Sikkes and Sweet who would receive the Player of the Game award for their respective teams.
Not much scoring but an extremely exciting game!
Well done, both teams.
Next game for the Cougars is Thursday October 25th at the Arch vs the surging Peninsula Panthers.
See you there!