Cougars torch Islanders for a dozen in series clinching win

Cougars powerplay guts Islanders, clinches berth in VIJHL finals against Peninsula or Saanich

Fives for fighting: Opposite fives

Fives for fighting: Opposite fives

The Victoria Cougars’ power play blasted the Kerry Park Islanders for 11 goals in a 12-1 win in Game 5 at the Archie Browning Sports Centre on Sunday.

The series-clinching victory sees the Cougars waiting to see who they’ll play in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League championship final. The Saanich Braves lead the Peninsula Panthers 2-1 in their semifinal series, with Game 4 going Monday night at Panorama.

“Eleven power play goals (on 19 man advantages) was one of the more bizarre games I’ve ever been a part of in this league, and I’ve seen some bizarre things,” said Cougars coach Mark Van Helvoirt, who started as an assistant under Craig Didmon with the Cougars in 2004-05.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen 19 power plays.”

Sunday’s blowout was the second game in less than 24 hours for the Cougars and Islanders. Victoria won 5-4 in overtime at Kerry Park on Saturday.

The Cougars are gunning for their second championship under Van Helvoirt, who won it in 2008 in his first season as head coach after taking over from Didmon. It’s seventh time in the past eight seasons the Cougars will battle for the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy as league playoff champs.

“(We have) a strong team this year, but it’s a bit of a different feel in the room (from last year),” Van Helvoirt said.

Though few will talk about it, everything about this year has been to avenge the Cougars’ devastating collapse in the 2011 final, when they blew a 3-0 series lead and lost to the Panthers.

Peninsula  scored just once in the first three games of that series, then broke out offensively and won four straight. They went on to win the Cyclone Taylor Cup as provincial champions.

Whether it’s the Panthers or Braves, either opponent brings with them a rich story line against the Cougars in the final. The Panthers bring a carryover from last year’s final, while the crosstown Braves haven’t won the championship since 1996 and have never faced the Cougars in the finals.

Powered up

Even with a 3-1 series lead going into Sunday’s game, Van Helvoirt and the Cougars weren’t completely happy with their first four games.

“We did a lot of preparation for the short turnaround for Sunday’s (matinee). One of the keys was to get firing on the power play.”

Little did the frustrated Islanders know what devastation awaited them. Playing a rough-and-tumble series throughout, the Islanders continued their physical style with five penalties in the first period and a game misconduct to former Grizzlies defenceman Kevin Woodyatt.

The Cougars connected on four of those power plays, with goals from Mark Walton, Colin Minardi, Connor Stephens and Nathan Chen-Mack. And when the Islanders penalties continued in the second, the Cougars kept scoring, with Walton, Stephens and Chen-Mack tallying on the power play.

Perhaps the most telling accomplishment of the day was that Sam Rice scored the only even-strength goal of the game. It was a tough feat in a game that saw 209 penalty minutes – 36 to the Cougars and 173 to the Islanders.

Trevor Chown, Kurtis Kunz, Josh Wyatt and Jake Nixon scored in the third period, all on the power play.

The Islanders’ meltdown featured five game misconducts in total, three of them in the third period, as well as seven 10-minute misconducts.

“We managed to block out some of the distractions going on in the game and on the ice,” Van Helvoirt said.

Game 4 goes Wyatt’s way

Despite outshooting the Islanders 31-16 in the first two periods of Game 4 on Saturday, the Cougars trailed 4-2. That’s when Josh Wyatt stepped up with two goals in the third period and an assist on the overtime winner by Brody Coulter.

“Saturday was a case where we were almost pushing too hard,” Van Helvoirt said. “It was one of those nights where we’d get a few chances then (Kerry Park) would score on the counter-attack.”

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

A provincially appointed consultant has recommended a change to the funding formula for the VicPD that will save Esquimalt a significant amount of money. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt to save a bundle on policing costs under new formula

Provincial consultant studied funding model, resource deployment for VicPD

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

A Victoria resident was scammed out of $1,700 after a fraudster impersonated a police officer and convinced the victim to pay a non-existent fine in Bitcoin. (Unsplash)
Fraudster impersonates Victoria police officer, steals $1,700 in Bitcoin

Phone call showed up as VicPD’s non-emergency line

The Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tsartlip First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA revealed COVID-19 outbreak

Chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA Adam Olsen apologizes

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Most Read