Game Reports

STORM DRAW FIRST BLOOD AGAINST COUGARS

ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The Campbell River Storm took the opener of the VIJHL Championship Series by a score of 4-3 on Thursday before several hundred fans at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.

Playing a fast-paced, physical game, Campbell River gave the Cougars defense all sorts of difficulties.

Victoria welcomed the return from injury of two quality players – Nick Gomerich and Kyle Wade who have both been sidelined since the middle of February.

However, it would be the Storm that struck first.

Ben Raffler opened the scoring with 1:16 remaining in the first period after banging home a Darren Hards rebound past Anthony Ciurro.

Campbell River went ahead 2-0 at 3:50 of the middle frame.  Reid Wheeldon, who missed a couple of shifts in the first period after taking a Trevor Isaksson shot off the leg, banged in his own rebound for his second goal of the playoffs.

Skating out from behind the Storm net, Liam Kinshella lifted the puck over Chris Smith to cut the lead in half at 12:10.

At 17:44, Raffler was penalized for interfering with Dom Kolbeins.  20 seconds later, Jordan Passmore tied the game at 2-2 after converting an Avery Hill rebound into a goal.

All of a sudden the crowd came to life at the A.B.S.C.

Mitchell Williams, who was recently named VIJHL Player of the Week, broke the hearts of the Cougars faithful at 7:58 of the third period when he went five-hole on Ciurro.  The goal came with Williams spinning out of control before falling face first onto the ice.

Then at 12:36, Dylan McCann celebrated his fourth goal of the playoffs after gobbling up a loose puck and firing it into a wide open net.  Ciurro was unable to smother the puck after he was hung out to dry by three of his teammates who were standing around looking dazed and confused.

Passmore finished off the scoring at 17:40.

With 99 seconds remaining in regulation, Victoria could not find the equalizer with the extra attacker.

Grayden Hohl had a pair of assists in a losing cause.

Shots on goal favoured the Cougars 33-31.

The power play was dreadful for Victoria.  Although going 1-for-4 with the man advantage, the Cougars were unable to capitalize on back-to-back power plays early in the third period when the score was tied 2-2.

Not much better, the Storm was unable to score on three of its opportunities.

Game 2 goes Friday night in Campbell River.

Elsewhere…

The Aldergrove Kodiaks has a 3-0 series lead on the Delta Ice Hawks in the Pacific Junior Hockey League Championship Series.

In the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League semi-finals, the best-of-five series between the Beaver Valley Nitehawks/Kimberley Dynamiters and Chase Heat/Osoyoos Coyotes are deadlocked at 2-2.

 

BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:

1st star, Mitchell Williams (Goals:  1, Assists:  0)

2nd star, Max Daerendinger (Goals:  0, Assists:  1)

3rd star, Jordan Passmore (Goals:  2, Assists:  0)

 

COUGARS ADVANCE TO PLAY CAMPBELL RIVER

ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Anthony Ciurro stopped all 31 shots he faced as the Victoria Cougars blanked the Kerry Park Islanders 3-0 on Thursday to advance to the VIJHL Championship Series.

Scoring for Victoria, who won the South Island Division final in five games, were Tyler Vanuden, Kenny Britton, and Dom Kolbeins.

The Cougars will now face the Campbell River Storm for the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy.

After a scoreless first period, Vanuden opened the scoring at 12:27 of the second with Victoria on the power play.  Vanuden, from the high slot, fired a wrist shot over the right shoulder of a screened Rett Rook for his eighth goal of the playoffs.

There would be no scoring until the 9:17 mark of the third period when Kenny Britton rushed down the left wing and wired the puck off the far post and in.

Dom Kolbeins added an insurance goal for the Cougars at 13:39.  From the slot, Grayden Hohl slid a perfect pass down low to Kolbeins for an easy tap in.  The goal came with Kerry Park playing shorthanded.

Victoria went 2-for-7 with the man advantage; meanwhile, the Islanders finished 0-for-5.

Rook made 33 saves in the loss.

Thursday marked the final appearances from Kerry Park’s four overage players – Jacob Malloch, Jordan Martin, Josh Poland, and Garnett Roberts.

The Cougars would like to wish these four players the best of luck in their future endeavours.

 

BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:

1st star, Anthony Ciurro (Saves:  31, Save Percentage:  1.000)

2nd star, Tyler Vanuden (Goals:  1, Assists:  1)

3rd star, Carl Ewert (Goals:  0, Assists:  1)

 

COUGARS PUT ISLANDERS ON BRINK OF ELIMINATION

MILL BAY, B.C. – Jordan Passmore scored three times and collected one assist as the Victoria Cougars doubled up on the Kerry Park Islanders 6-3 on Tuesday night.

Victoria is now one win away from advancing to the VIJHL Championship Series for the seventh straight season.

Game 5 goes Thursday.

Tyler Vanuden (2) and Kenny Britton also scored for the Cougars who struck for four power play goals.

Victoria led 2-0 after one period and 4-2 after two.

Replying for the Islanders were Samson McLean (2) and Josh Poland.

Anthony Ciurro made 29 saves for his 18th career playoff win.

Taking the loss was Rett Rook who turned aside 45 shots.

It was the first time in the series that a game has not been decided by one goal.

The Cougars finished 4-for-6 on the power play; meanwhile, Kerry Park went 0-for-4 which included squandering a two man advantage for over a minute in the third period.

Elsewhere in the VIJHL:  Campbell River Storm 11, Nanaimo Buccaneers 5 (Storm wins series 4-1).

Next game for Victoria is Thursday, March 16 versus the Kerry Park Islanders.  Game time at the 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:  3, Assists:  1)

2nd star, Tyler Vanuden (Goals:  2, Assists:  1)

3rd star, Samson McLean (Goals:  2, Assists:  0)

 

COUGARS STAVE OFF LATE ISLANDERS RALLY

ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The Victoria Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead before hanging on for a 4-3 win over the Kerry Park Islanders in Game 3 of the VIJHL South Island Division Final on Sunday.

Dom Kolbeins led the way with two goals and two assists.

With the win, the Cougars take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-7 series.

Game 4 goes Tuesday.

Kerry Park pulled to within a goal twice but could not get the equalizer.

Trailing 4-3 late in the third period, the Islanders received their 11th and final power play of the game when Carl Ewert was sent to the penalty box for high-sticking Jarret Malloch in the face.

Kerry Park managed two shots on goal.  One of those shots came from a sharp angle off the stick of Kayden Peck and the other from Will Connors who deflected a point shot right at Anthony Ciurro.

During the penalty kill, Tyler Pang came up with a huge shot block on Josh Poland while Avery Hill got his stick in the way of a Brandon Wilson pass.

The Cougars, who led 3-0 after one period and 4-2 after two, came out of the gates like gangbusters by scoring their first three goals in three different ways.

Jordan Passmore opened the scoring with an even strength goal, Tyler Vanuden followed that up with a shorthanded marker, and Kolbeins fired home his first of two goals on the power play.

The final two periods is where the game got lost.  The defending VIJHL champions are dealing with a major issue right now; playing 60 minutes on a consistent basis.

Victoria got outshot for the third time in the series, this time 36-33.

18 seconds after stepping out of the penalty box, Passmore took a return pass from Kolbeins and wired the puck past Rett Rook at 10:46.

Victoria went ahead 2-0 at 12:21 when Vanuden swiped a loose puck into the net.  Watching the proceedings from the sin bin was Kaelen Anderson who had all but 14 seconds expired in his slashing penalty.

Kolbeins recorded his third point of the period after banging home his own rebound with 47.8 seconds remaining until the first intermission.  The goal by Kolbeins, his sixth of the playoffs, came with two Islander players in the penalty box.

As in Games 1 and 2, Kerry Park showed their resiliency.

On the doorstep, Sampson McLean scored his third goal of the playoffs from Ty Smith and Garnett Roberts at 8:34.

Then at 12:19 and on another power play, Jacob Malloch tucked the puck under Ciurro during a mad scramble out front.

All of a sudden, it was a one-goal game.

Kolbeins, who has recorded at least a point in his last six games, doubled the lead at 13:54 with a power play goal of his own.

Only one goal was scored in the third period.  From the high slot, Caleb Franklin slid the puck five-hole on Ciurro at 2:44.

The Islanders tried to pull Rook for an extra attacker in the last couple of minutes but were unable to do so.

Vanuden chipped in with a pair of assists to go along with his first period goal after getting held off the score sheet in Game 2.

The Cougars went 2-for-5 on the power play; meanwhile, Kerry Park finished 1-for-11.

Next game for Victoria is Tuesday, March 14 versus the Kerry Park Islanders.  Game time at the Kerry Park Recreation Centre, located at 1035 Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Road, is 7:30 p.m.

 

BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:

1st star, Dom Kolbeins (Goals:  2, Assists:  2)

2nd star, Anthony Ciurro (Saves:  33, Save Percentage:  .917)

3rd star, Tyler Pang (Goals:  0, Assists:  2)