The Victoria Cougars scored five power play goals and used a four-goal second period to blow past the Westshore Wolves 8-1 in Game 1 of the V Island junior Hockey League South Island Division finals on Thursday night.
It was a night to forget for the Wolves as Victoria jumped out to a 1-0 first period lead before tacking on four more goals to take a 5-0 advantage into the second intermission.
Michael Fretz, Wade Johnson, Brett Lervold, Nathan Looysen, and Sam McMullen each had a goal and two assists for the Cougars who also received tallies from PJ Heger, Jake Stolz, and Lane Van de Wetering.
Penalties doomed Westshore who was playing a smart game prior to their parade to the penalty box.
While the Wolves managed one power play goal on three chances, Victoria capitalized on five of its nine opportunities.
After Van de Wetering gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead with 2:24 remaining in the first period, Westshore became undisciplined. And that indiscipline changed the momentum of the game.
The next five Victoria goals would be power play goals.
The Cougars took a 2-0 lead eight seconds into the second period on a goal from Looysen.
There was no scoring until the 13:05 mark when Lervold converted a Johnson rebound into a goal. Fretz made it 4-0 after his shot rang off the iron and in at 14:32.
Then at 18:32, McMullen wired a wrist shot just under the cross bar from the bottom of the faceoff circle.
Johnson made it 6-0 after redirecting a Lervold feed at 5:48 of the third period.
Soon afterwards, Chris Smith was pulled in favour of Blake Pearson after allowing six goals on 30 shots.
The change in net did not matter though as Victoria kept pouring on the goals.
At 9:43, Stolz fired a point shot past Pearson. The Cougars went ahead 8-0 on an unassisted goal from Heger at 11:41.
Dylan Grant scored with 1:21 left in regulation to spoil Grant Payne’s shutout bid.
Victoria outshot the Wolves 11-7 in the first period, 14-6 in the second, and 16-7 in the third for a three period total of 41-20.
Thursday’s game marked the long-awaited return of goaltender Anthony Ciurro and forwards John Kretzschmar and Jo Davie to the Cougars lineup. Both Ciurro and Kretzschmar had missed time because of injuries while Davie returns to Victoria after a one-year layoff.
Game 2 of the playoffs is Saturday in Westshore.