Hockey night in the region

It’s March and it’s the height of hockey season for Greater Victoria fans.

It’s March and it’s the height of hockey season for Greater Victoria fans.

Many are following the Vancouver Canucks, hoping the Northwest Division leaders will make a return trip to the National Hockey League championship series, and with a little luck, score their first Stanley Cup win.

The Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals have developed a following of their own in their first season here after replacing the ECHL Salmon Kings. At week’s end the Royals looked like a safe bet to make the playoffs, following an exciting, if somewhat of a roller-coaster regular season of major junior hockey.

But the place to be on many hockey nights in the Capital Region over the past couple of weeks has been any of the three rinks that are home to junior B teams.

Led by the Island league’s regular season champion Victoria Cougars, local teams have given diehard fans and infrequent spectators the type of entertainment that keeps ’em coming back. The always-tough Cougars are taking on Mill Bay’s Kerry Park Islanders in one semifinal, while the defending playoff champ Peninsula Panthers are battling the Saanich Braves in the other.

These high school-aged players leave little on the ice and offer up everything from tight defensive battles to high-scoring goalfests.

Fans packing Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt (Cougars), Pearkes Rec Centre in Saanich and Panorama Rec Centre in North Saanich (Panthers) know they need not shell out big dough to experience exciting, inspiring games. It doesn’t hurt that the price of a hot dog or popcorn is modest as well.

On the West Shore, the struggles of the junior A Victoria Grizzlies this year have been somewhat counteracted by news that the area will get a junior B team back for next season.

Overall, there’s plenty of signs that hockey remains a passion in the Capital Region, no matter who’s playing the game.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria teacher’s certification suspended for inappropriate conduct with female students

Gregory Garos was employed by the District as a middle school teacher

Victoria’s historic Point Ellice House re-opens after months of closure

A new exhibit will be on display at the house to explore the ‘Politics of Luxury’

International, Disney and Hallmark films set to be filmed in Victoria in 2019

Local and international production companies seeking out film locations in town

Missing Saanich man last seen in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Jonah Donato, 40, travelled to the mainland in June

Toy Run organizer says motorcyclists unfairly targeted

Motorcycle toy drive returns Sept. 29 to Turkey Head

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Film features Chez Monique, an off-the-grid restaurant on West Coast Trail in B.C.

“The story we are trying to share is of the loving haven they created and sustained for decades.”

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Instagram expands Canadian pilot removing ‘like’ counts to more countries

Social media giant plans to roll out the test in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Ireland

Man involved in beating and tasering over a drug debt to be sentenced in Nanaimo

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne pleaded guilty to charges, including aggravated assault

Most Read