Posts by: Peter Kung

CAN THE COUGARS DEFEND THEIR TITLE?

For the first time ever, the Victoria Cougars will open the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs against the Westshore Wolves.

Game 1 goes this Thursday at the Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt.

Victoria and the Wolves have met once before in the playoffs. Two years ago, the Cougars swept Westshore four-games-to-none in the South Island Division Finals.

Goaltender Anthony Ciurro and defenseman Ryan Vorster of Victoria as well as forwards Cory Hatcher and Nicholas Polomark of the Wolves are the only remaining players from that series.

The Cougars (35-8-0-5), who won the Andy Hebenton Trophy for the seventh straight year after posting the most points than any other team during the regular season, have guaranteed themselves home ice advantage throughout the entirety of the VIJHL playoffs.

Entering the game on Thursday, Victoria has won its last nine games.   The defending VIJHL champion Cougars finished the regular season with the second best offense, scoring a total of 208 goals. On the other hand, Suneil Karod’s squad was the best defensive team in the league, allowing just 124 goals against.

Victoria also possessed the top penalty killing unit, having surrendered only 34 power play goals. And their power play was also tops in the VIJHL, notching 57 goals for an efficiency rate of 23.85 percent.

Head-to-head, the Cougars went 6-2-0-0 versus Westshore during the regular season. Victoria outscored the Wolves by a margin of 35-20 in the process.

Grayden Hohl has given Westshore fits all season long. The Cougars leading scorer recorded 14 points in the eight meetings.

Points-wise, Victoria heads into the playoffs with 11 players posting 30 points or more. That is the most of any team in the VIJHL.

A workhorse all season for the Cougars, Ciurro went 18-6-0-4 while compiling a 2.48 goals against average, a .917 save percentage, and one shutout in 29 games. If Ciurro needs a rest, former Prince George Spruce Kings goalie Liam McCloskey is more than capable of stepping in.

Westshore (20-23-2-3) finished fourth in the South Island Division, one point back of the Kerry Park Islanders.

Brandon Tutte led the Wolves in scoring with 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points. One of the lowest scoring teams in the VIJHL, Westshore finished 60 goals behind the Cougars.

If the Wolves have any chance of advancing to the next round, they must keep Victoria off the power play. The Cougars scored eight times in 47 opportunities.

On the back end, Zach Benson, Michael Jensen, Clark Pickup, Mitch Popp, Stephen Stiliadis, Jake Watson, and the always dependable Joe Gage will all have their hands full in slowing down Victoria’s multitude of offensive weapons.

Shawn Parkinson and Jordan Spandli are the last line of defense for Westshore.

Other playoff matches include: Kerry Park Islanders vs. Saanich Braves. Peninsula Panthers vs. Campbell River Storm. Comox Valley Glacier Kings vs. Nanaimo Buccaneers.

 

GAME 1:   Thursday, February 23, 2017

Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

Archie Browning Sports Centre

7:00 p.m.

 

GAME 2:   Friday, February 24, 2017

Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves

The Q Centre

6:30 p.m.

 

GAME 3:   Sunday, February 26, 2017

Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

Archie Browning Sports Centre

3:30 p.m.

 

GAME 4:   Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves

The Q Centre

7:00 p.m.

 

GAME 5 (if necessary): Thursday, March 2, 2017

Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

Archie Browning Sports Centre

7:00 p.m.

 

GAME 6 (if necessary): Saturday, March 4, 2017

Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves

The Q Centre

4:30 p.m.

 

GAME 7 (if necessary): Sunday, March 5, 2017

Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

Archie Browning Sports Centre

3:30 p.m.

Posted in Latest News

COUGARS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: GRAYDEN HOHL

Grayden Hohl is the Victoria Cougars Player of the Week for the period ending February 20.

In two games last week, Hohl scored two goals against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings and one goal against the Campbell River Storm.

“Grayden scored three massive goals in our two wins this past week,” Cougars associate coach Brody Coulter said.  “He has become a leader in our dressing room and he continues to get better on the ice.”

After scoring the tying goal with 8.7 seconds remaining in regulation on Thursday, Hohl was awarded the game’s first star.

“We are anticipating a very productive playoff run from Grayden,” Coulter said.

Hohl finished third in league scoring with 32 goals and 32 assists for 64 points in 48 games.

Posted in Latest News

2017 VIJHL PLAYOFFS – ROUND ONE SCHEDULE

The 2017 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Playoffs and the road to the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy begins Thursday, February 23 for the Victoria Cougars as they square off in a best-of-seven series with the Westshore Wolves.

Victoria, who captured the Andy Hebenton Trophy (awarded to the club finishing the regular season with the best overall record) for the seventh year in a row, will have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

 

GAME 1:  Thursday, February 23, 2017

Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

Archie Browning Sports Centre

7:00 p.m.

 

GAME 2:  Friday, February 24, 2017

Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves

The Q Centre

6:30 p.m.

 

GAME 3:  Sunday, February 26, 2017

Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

Archie Browning Sports Centre

3:30 p.m.

 

GAME 4:  Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves

The Q Centre

7:00 p.m.

 

GAME 5 (if necessary):  Thursday, March 2, 2017

Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

Archie Browning Sports Centre

7:00 p.m.

 

GAME 6 (if necessary):  Saturday, March 4, 2017

Victoria Cougars @ Westshore Wolves

The Q Centre

4:30 p.m.

 

GAME 7 (if necessary):  Sunday, March 5, 2017

Westshore Wolves @ Victoria Cougars

Archie Browning Sports Centre

3:30 p.m.

 

 

Archie Browning Sports Centre:  1151 Esquimalt Road; Victoria, British Columbia; V9A 3N6

 

The Q Centre:  1767 Old Island Highway; Victoria, British Columbia; V9B 1J1

Posted in Latest News

COUGARS WIN ANDY HEBENTON TROPHY

CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – Jordan Passmore scored the game winning goal as the Victoria Cougars beat the Campbell River Storm 3-2 in front of 1,121 at Rod Brind’Amour Arena on Friday.

On the counter attack, Kenny Britton dropped the puck back to Passmore who one-timed a slap shot that ricocheted off of Campbell River defenseman Ben Raffler and past starting net minder Chase Anderson with only 88 seconds remaining in regulation.

Picking up the second assist was Tyler Pang.

The Cougars finish the regular season with a league-high 75 points and are guaranteed home ice advantage throughout the entirety of the VIJHL playoffs.

Grayden Hohl and Britton also scored for Victoria (35-8-0-5).

The game remained scoreless until the 13:34 mark of the first period when Britton went short side on Anderson.

A second period power play goal from Raffler at 5:43 tied the game but the Cougars went into the second intermission leading 2-1 on a Hohl goal at 18:37.

The Storm added another power play goal, this time from Kobe Oishi at 14:30 of the third period.

Passmore would later give Victoria its seventh consecutive Andy Hebenton Trophy as regular-season VIJHL champions and ninth win in a row with his 13th goal of the season.

Campbell River (34-12-0-0) wraps up its regular season on Monday.

Shots on goal favoured the Storm 38-19.

The Cougars went 0-for-5 with the man advantage; meanwhile, Campbell River finished 2-for-8.

Elsewhere in the VIJHL:  Peninsula Panthers 3, Westshore Wolves 2.  Saanich Braves 4, Nanaimo Buccaneers 2.

Next game for Victoria is Thursday, February 23 versus the Westshore Wolves.  Game time at Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.

 

BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:

1st star, Jordan Passmore (Goals:  1, Assists:  2)

2nd star, Ben Raffler (Goals:  1, Assists:  0)

3rd star, Anthony Ciurro (Saves:  36, Save Percentage:  .947)

Posted in Game Reports