Posts by: Peter Kung


The Victoria Cougars continue to move players onto the next level.

17-year-old forward Darwin Lakoduk has signed with the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Hockey League for the 2018-19 campaign.

Cougars head coach Suneil Karod, a former scout for the Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL), needed to watch Lakoduk play only once before signing him.

“It was all I needed to see that there was something special about him,” Karod said.  “Darwin is very dedicated as well as being a hard worker and a student of the game.”

A native of Vernon, British Columbia, changing scenery from Edmonton, Alberta, where he played last year, to Vancouver Island was a seamless transition for Lakoduk.

That is because the Cougars employ a full-time billeting coordinator to make sure that no player goes without a roof over his head.

Lakoduk is currently leading the Cougars in scoring and is a candidate to win the Larry Lamoureaux Trophy for rookie of the year honours in the nine-team Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

After playing for the Northern Alberta Xtreme Prep last season, the five-foot-ten, 158-pound centre is very thankful that Karod recruited him to play for the Cougars.

“I couldn’t ask for more supportive and dedicated coaches.  They gave me opportunities to play in all game situations and were committed to developing me as a player to achieve my goal of moving onto the next level of hockey,” Lakoduk said.

Victoria is the perfect place to play hockey and playing for the Cougars give players an amazing opportunity.

Archie Browning Sports Centre, home of the Cougars, is only a seven minute drive from downtown Victoria.

The Cougars also own their own dressing room which is an added bonus.  As well, a new sound system and jumbotron was recently installed inside the ‘Arch’ to give fans the ultimate experience.

Player fees include gear, apparel, travel, food, gym membership, and ice times for both practices and games.

Victoria also boasts two world class post-secondary institutions – Royal Roads University and the University of Victoria.

And all games are telecasted online at  In addition, all recaps are posted immediately following each game at

Since acceptance into the VIJHL 20 years ago, the Cougars have seven league titles and seven regular season titles.  They also have been to the Cyclone Taylor Cup seven times; wining gold once, silver three times, and bronze twice.

“Darwin was willing to put in all the work that is required to make the jump to Junior A,” Karod said.  “I couldn’t be happier for him and to have coached him.  He will do well at the next level.”

Some notable Cougars alumni who have moved onto the next level include:  Mitch Fadden (Seattle Thunderbirds – WHL), Michael Herringer (Kelowna Rockets – WHL), Barry Horman (Spokane Chiefs – WHL), Adam Jennings (Red Deer Rebels – WHL), Nathan Looysen (Kamloops Blazers – WHL), Tyler Vanuden (Alberni Valley Bulldogs – BCHL), Tyler Pang (Sherwood Park Crusaders – AJHL), Nico Somerville (Victoria Grizzlies – BCHL), Anthony Ciurro (University of Arizona – ACHA), and Graham Zagrodney (Lindenwood University – ACHA).

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Our 2017/18 season has come to an end as we celebrated our 20th year in the VIJHL. Our organization has changed considerably since the first year in the league.

We have developed a proud history and that is all made possible by the support we receive from our community.

We would like to thank our sponsors, the Township of Esquimalt, our fans, recreation staff at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, our volunteers, our billet parents, our coaching staff, and our executives for the hard work, dedication, and financial support we have received this past year. The Cougars organization works hard to provide a quality product that not only concentrated on the improvement of hockey skills but also works to develop our players as active community members.

We appreciate all the players and their families that have chosen to be a part of our program and trust that you all had a good experience. As usual we have several players that have finished their junior careers and move on to the next phase of their life and wish them all the best and not to forget to come and visit us when they have an opportunity.

The Cougars Hockey Club is in a transition to move younger and to support as many local players and families as  we can. We want to focus on player development but provide a team that is competitive and highly skilled.

We started that transition this past year and we have seen many of our player develop and grow to the next level. We pushed an older more experienced team to Game 7 in the playoffs and could have easily won that last game. We are all proud of the achievements of our players and coaches.

Soon, our new season will begin with our Spring camp on May 4, 5, and 6.

As our organization will once again be looking to compete for a Cyclone Taylor Cup in 2018/19, the Victoria Cougars coaching staff will be looking to sign camp standouts at all positions for the upcoming 2018 season on Sunday, May 6 at the conclusion of camp.

Thank you all and we are looking to see you at the start of next season in September.


George Linger

President, Victoria Cougars


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The Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League handed out two awards to the Victoria Cougars.

Darwin Lakoduk claimed the Larry Lamoureaux Trophy as the VIJHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Meanwhile, the Victoria Cougars took home the Grant Peart Memorial Trophy for being the most disciplined team during the regular season.


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The Victoria Cougars held their annual awards ceremony at the Apple Tree Restaurant.

Here are this year’s award winners:




ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:  Darwin Lakoduk



COACHES’ AWARD:  Carl Ewert / Mateo Albinati


BROADCASTER’S AWARD:  Patrick Ostermann


Preparations for next season are already underway.

Registration for the Cougars spring camp (May 4-6, 2018) are currently being accepted.

Log on to for more information.

The Victoria Cougars would like to thank everyone for their support during this season.


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