For the first time in over 9 years the Victoria Cougars faced off against a team for the first time. On September 13th, 2012 the Cougars played the Nanaimo Buccaneers for the first time. In that game current Head Coach Brody Coulter and Assistant Coach Jake Stolz were on the ice for the Cougars in a 3-2 win.
In this contest the expansion franchise Lake Cowichan Kraken took the ice for the first time. The Kraken were one of two new teams to join the VIJHL this season, the other being the Port Alberni Bombers. The Kraken were supposed to make their debut on Wednesday of last week but were forced to postpone their first three games due to a possible COVID exposure and out of an abundance of caution.
This game was a closely matched contest. The Kraken have not had a proper game or a long time to practice as a team, and they came out flying anyways. In a hard hitting period it was the goalies that stood out. Both Josh Robins and Jonah Chambers traded solid saves to keep the game tight. The Cougars grabbed the lone opening period marker. Ty Brant potted his first of the season.
Victoria took more control of the second period but Lake Cowichan held their own and often throwing the body more often. The Cougars outshot the Kraken 13-5 and netted the lone goal late in the period. Connor DeLay scored his first of the year. The shot totals might look skewed, and the Cougars did hold a majority of the play, but it was not a true reflection of the Kraken play. If shot-attempts were tracked like in soccer the totals would be a lot closer. The Kraken unleashed a dozen or more solid shots that were deflected away from the net. Both teams also traded hard checks throughout the period.
The final period was similar to the first two. Both teams traded great scoring chances that were thwarted by the keepers and both teams threw some huge hits. The Kraken did grab their first goal in franchise history. Unfortunately, due to a design choice on their uniforms the goal was credited to the wrong player. Kellen Brienan ripped a wrist-shot passed Jonah Chambers in the waning seconds of the game. Suhilpreet Deol was credited by the official, but it should be corrected upon review. I think this may be an issue for the Kraken. Their black uniforms have black numbers on a black shirt with a thin green line around the number making reading the numbers very hard.
Next up for the Cougars is Kerry Park on Saturday at 730pm on the road.
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