NORTH SAANICH — The Peninsula Panthers played their most gritty game in the past several years and were full value for their 5-2 win over the Oceanside Generals last Friday night at the Panorama Recreation Centre.
The Club then travelled to Comox to take on the Glacier Kings on Saturday night and deserved the 3-2 verdict to gain four of a possible four points in a pair of weekend games.
On Friday, Josh Lingard put a couple notches in his belt scoring twice in the final stanza to put some distance between the Panthers (13-15) and the Generals (12-16). Matt Lawrence, Jack McMillan and Thomas Spink were the other marksmen while Chris Akerman picked up the all important win between the pipes.
On Saturday night in Comox (3-25) Gavin Yee, Marshall Brown and Ty Hermsen scored for the Panthers while stopper Bryce Schiebel looked sharp in goal for the Panthers and was awarded with the win.
The Club had been faced with the injury bug over the past six weeks and Head Coach Brad Tippett finally saw all of his troops trickle back into the lineup. Tippett, who is always a good interview gave some interesting comments after the 60 minutes were in the books and just before the team departed the arena for their trip from Comox back to the Peninsula.
“We have been a streaky team for about six weeks – hot and win three straight and then cooled off and drop three. I definitely prefer the heat. Having a full lineup for the first time all season long has been a confidence builder. We needed some of our defencemen to play much more conservatively because they were playing so many minutes.
“We had a tough week of practice and carried some bit and mental sharpness that we pushed all week into the pair of weekend games. We have gone from piecing together a lineup to having three extra forwards and an extra defenceman. Players have to be sharp to stay in the lineup now.
“We will practice a couple times before playing the Braves on Wednesday night. That game is huge for both teams. We were not at all happy dropping the last two games to them. It is a game that we must consider a pivotal point in our season.”
Tippett and his Club will be back home on Friday night when the Glacier Kings make their final regular season visit to the Panorama at 7:30 p.m. The Panthers will then host a very rare Sunday afternoon game at 2:30 p.m., welcoming the Campbell River Storm (22-5). The local squad will be wearing a specially designed third jersey.
After the game on Sunday an on-ice ceremony will take place when the jerseys are gifted to Peninsula Minor Hockey Association players and fans in attendance. A large crowd is expected and the Panthers are asking that fans coming out on Sunday make a point of arriving just a little bit early.
— News staff