The Cougars haven’t lost much this year. But the Panthers have downed the Cougars twice in a row. After starting the season series 3-0 against Peninsula, Victoria has had a hard time against the opponents from North Saanich.
The Braun Brothers centred by Logan Speirs is the most deadly line in the VIJHL this year, and it’s not even close. 178 points combined in 29 games is causing fits for every team they play. But with having such a top heavy scoring line, if they get shut down, they have a hard time beating the other top teams. Last night was a prime example, even if it looked like the top line was going to have their way with the Cougars again.
Not only is the Panther top line the best 5on5 but they are basically the power-play unit 1 too. Add in Matt Seale who had 10 point in 5 games against the Cougars so far this year and you also have the leagues best power-play. Add in a dash of stupid penalties and the Cougars go down 1-0. Logan Speirs took a pretty feed from Seale, standing below the goal line, and burying the puck behind Chambers. Speirs now has a point in every game this year, that’s a 30 game point streak for those keeping track.
This 2nd period saw another penalty to Victoria and the top PP unit take the ice…Minus Logan Speirs? It was a strange play in more ways than one. What was supposed to be the media time-out, while Tom was in the middle of an ad-read, the Panthers and Cougars went to the face-off circle. The referee indicated that there would not be the media time-out even with the players starting to skate to the benches. The rules have changed a few times regarding the media time-out. One change that I later learned is you will not have a media time-out with a team short-handed. Regardless, the puck dropped in the circle and Peninsula won it forward directly onto Rosenbloods stick. He dangled and the Panthers were up 2-0. But, as I said, it was minus Logan Speirs. Neither myself nor Tom noticed exactly when he left the game, but he did not return. And it showed.
4 minutes later the Cougars would get on the board and go on a 4-0 tear across the remainder of the 2nd and into the 3rd period. Aiden Turner started it out but it was because of Brody Johnston the Cougars got the chance. Peninsula tried to clear the zone and Johnston jumped far higher than someone on skates has any right to do, keeping the puck in the zone. Then with a delayed penalty against the Panthers Turner took a feed from behind the net that he himself had to glove down right at the top of the blue paint. Ethan Roworth, Zac Piche, and Kieran Strange would add to the Cougars come-back. You can see the goals below in the highlight video.
Less than two minutes to go and the Panthers were pressuring hard. Grant Gilbertson would get one for the Panthers and it was shaping up to be an interesting final few minutes. That was until Kieran Strange ruined the Panthers night after they were unable to clear the zone. This one would end 5-3.
Next up is the Predators tonight in Saanich.
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