Cougars in Jr. B driver’s seat, Panthers even series with Glacier Kings

Pair of hat tricks highlight play for Greater Victoria teams

Unlike the first round, there’ll be no sweeps in the semifinals of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs.

Heading into Wednesday’s (March 12) Game 4 in Campbell River, the Victoria Cougars hold a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series against the Storm.

Helped by a 33-save performance by goaltender Connor Beauchamp and a hat trick from Sam McMullen, the Cougars beat the North Island squad 4-1 at Archie Browning Sports Centre on Sunday. The teams return to Esquimalt tomorrow night for a 7 p.m. game.

On the other side of the draw, the Peninsula Panthers drew even at two games apiece with the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, thanks to a 4-2 win at Panorama Recreation Centre.

Peninsula raced out to a 3-0 lead after one period and scored an empty netter to put the game away late in the third. Alex Milligan scored three times and Joey Karrer stopped 23 of 25 shots in goal to lead the Panthers, who head to Courtenay for Game 5 tomorrow night.

Game 6 goes Friday back in North Saanich, at 7:30 p.m.