Like it or not, the Victoria Cougars are settling for silver for the second year in a row.
The Cougars lost 4-1 to the Richmond Sockeyes in the gold medal final of the Cyclone Taylor Cup in Comox on Sunday.
Matthew Ho scored the only goal of the first period to put the Cougars up 1-0 and goalie Evan Roch held the Cougars in it with some good saves and some luck.
But the luck ran out as the Sockeyes scored three goals in the second period to chase Roch. Michael Herringer, a Victoria Royals prospect, came in to replace Roch though the Sockeyes scored once more. Jeremy Hamaguchi, Jake Roder, Liam Lawson and Rudie Thorstenson scored for the Sockeyes.
The Castlegar Rebels took home the bronze medal with a 5-4 comeback win over the host Comox Valley Glacier Kings. The Glacier Kings went up 3-0 early on goals from Sheldon Brett, Tyson Rennie and Nick Tupper. But the Rebels came back with five straight goals, from Jamie Vlanich, Kody Disher, Vlanich again, Erik Alden and Travis Wellman. Glacier King Rylan Ball scored the only goal of the third period but the Glacier Kings couldn’t draw even.
The Sockeyes, which three weeks ago won the Pacific Junior Hockey League title, went a perfect 4-0 in the Cyclone Cup provincial Junior B hockey championship.
The Cougars finish 2-2, having defeated the Koootenay league champion Castlegar Rebels 1-0 and tournament host Comox Valley Glacier Kings 6-1. But the Sockeyes had the Cougars’ number, winning 5-2 in their round robin game on Friday and then 4-1 in the final.
The tournament was the Sockeyes now advance to St. Malo, Man., this week for the Keystone Cup, Western Canadian junior B hockey championship.
“(Victoria) is a good team and our guys had to play real hard,” said Richmond head coach Aaron Wilbur. “But we were able to get everyone into our lineup at some point over the weekend and our guys really stuck to the game plan.”
The Cougars graduate several players from its core, including captain Brody Coulter and assistant captain Sam Rice.