Weekends come and weekends go, and they’re never long enough.
This is one weekend the Victoria Cougars will remember, one they made the most out of by sweeping the Oceanside Generals in three straight games, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Coming off a first round bye as regular season champs, just like that Victoria is in the finals of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs, vying for the Paterson Memorial Trophy.
The Cougars clinched their spot in the final with a 3-2 overtime win against Oceanside at Archie Browning Sports Centre on Sunday.
Eric Guthrie scored the winning goal in the final minute of the first overtime period, slipping it past Oceanside goalie Kolding Larson.
“I was screaming for it,” said Guthrie, who snuck in front of the net undetected, taking a pass from Clark Anderson, who was behind the goal line.
“Anderson did a great job, he drew a couple of defenders, got it to me and I was lucky to get it under (the goalie’s) pad.”
Oceanside struck first in the game and took a 2-1 lead into the third period. But the Cougars fought back with an early goal in the third when Josh Wyatt followed an Anderson rush to the net. Wyatt tapped it in to tie it 2-2.
Regulation ended that way, and after a two minute break, a 10 minute overtime period was played in the hopes it would induce a goal. And it did, with Guthrie’s tally.
Halfway through overtime the Cougars had a powerplay but didn’t convert.
It was the second overtime win for the Cougars. Meyer scored in double overtime of game one, a 3-2 win. Steve Axford scored both goals in the Cougars’ 2-0 win in Parksville on Saturday.
Both Oceanside and Victoria play defensive systems but the Cougars stayed the course, said assistant coach Tommy Kala.
As of Monday it looked like the Cougars would face a repeat of last year’s final against the Peninsula Panthers, who held a 2-0 lead on Comox Valley Glaciers. (Game three of that series went Tuesday night, March 8.)
If it is Peninsula, expect a different series, Kala said.
“(Peninsula) is great on the rush, they can score, but we’ll stick to our system.”
It’s the Cougars first appearance in the VIJHL finals since they won it in 2008.
Check www.vicnews.com for scheduling updates.