Sam Rice scored his second hat trick in as many games as the Victoria Cougars bombed the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in Game 2 of the VIJHL final on Tuesday, 9-3.
The Cougars take a 2-0 series lead into Thursday’s Game 3 at Archie Browning Sports Centre, 7 p.m.
Fifteen of the Cougars recorded a point on Tuesday with Wade Johnson, Jamie Severs, Dane Feeney, Kelyn Opel, David Marshall, and Jo Davie, each scoring a goal. The Cougars went three-for-seven on the power play and outshot Comox Valley 43-27.
Both the Cougars and Glacier Kings have already qualified for the Fred “Cyclone” Taylor Cup at Comox, April 11 to 14.
The Richmond Sockeyes have also qualified, as they swept the Aldergrove Kodiaks in four games for the Lower Mainland’s Pacific International Junior Hockey League title.
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League champion is yet to be determined, with the Castlegar Rebels leading the North Okanagan Knights 1-0 as of Wednesday.
Game 4 is Saturday in Comox. Game 5, if necessary, is at Archie Browning Sports Centre at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Royals win first playoff game
Goalie Patrick Polivka carried the Victoria Royals to its first playoff win since relocating from Chilliwack in 2011, with a 2-1 victory over the Kamloops Blazers, Tuesday night at Bear Mountain Arena.
The Blazers lead the WHL quarter-final series 2-1.
Game 4 goes Thursday at Bear Mountain Arena, 7 p.m.
Polivka was the first star on Tuesday as he stopped 39 of 40 shots. Blazers goalie Cole Cheveldave made 26 saves on 28 shots.
Ben Walker scored on a wrist shot in the first period on a pass from Logan Nelson. J.C. Lipon evened the score for Kamloops with a powerplay goal in the second period.
Tim Traber scored the winner when the Royals energy player managed to sneak a shot past Cheveldave 50 seconds into the third period.
The game ended in a melee with 90 minutes in penalties assessed with the clock stopped at one-second remaining.
The Chilliwack Bruins/Royals franchise has yet to win a playoff series.
Tuesday’s win means Game 5 will be played in Kamloops. If necessary, the teams return to Victoria for Game 6 on Monday, April 1, 7 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena.
Bulldogs push Grizzlies the distance
The Victoria Grizzlies and Alberni Bulldogs play Game 5 of the best-of-five series at Bear Mountain Arena on Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs won Game 4 in over time, 4-3 in Alberni on Tuesday to force a fifth and deciding game.