Victoria Cougars rookie Darwin Lakoduk proudly shows off the puck from his first Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League goal in a 5-0 win over Comox Valley on Thursday at Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt. Lakoduk added two assists. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Cougars win hockey home opener in style in Esquimalt

Victoria heads to Courtenay for back end of home and home on Saturday

There’s nothing like making a good impression in your first meaningful game with a team.

Victoria Cougars rookie Darwin Lakoduk did just that, scoring his first Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League goal and setting up two others to lead the Cats to a 5-0 victory over visiting Comox Valley on Thursday at Archie Browning Sports Centre.

The 17-year-old former Northern Alberta Extreme major midget player shared the spotlight with new Cougars goaltender Patrick Ostermann, who kicked out 28 shots for the shutout in his first game on the Island.

“I felt that the whole team came together, there was lots of positivity on the bench, so it’s really motivating when everyone’s behind you,” said Lakoduk, the youngest player on the Cougars roster.

So far he’s enjoying the faster pace of play and the systems put in place by the Victoria coaching staff.

Head coach Suneil Karod praised the youngster after the game.

“He’s fast, he’s skilled, he’s a smart hockey player,” said Karod, comparing the poise the youngster showed with that of a 19- or 20-year-old veteran. “I’m very happy with him, he wants to move on, he wants to do well, and if he keeps taking care of his stuff he should be fine.”

The Cougars showed a bit of nervousness early on against the Kings, who almost scored on an innocent-looking first shot against Ostermann. While Comox Valley held a 14-8 edge in shots after the first period, Victoria settled down after 10 minutes or so and scored the first goal when team captain Liam Knshella and Carl Ewart set up Nicholas Looysen at the 17:12 mark.

A power play marker from Akila Sato-Gaudreau, followed by a last-minute tally from Lakoduk made it 3-0 after two, and late third-period goals from Kyle Wade and Jaden McNulty rounded out the scoring.

Victoria outshot the Kings 43-28 overall.

“We stuck to our game plan,” Karod said. “Our guys, they bought into the system, which is great for everyone to buy in this early.”

The teams do battle again tomorrow night (Sept. 9) in Courtenay when the Glacier Kings host the second half of this season-opening home and home series.

editor@vicnews.com

 

Victoria Cougars players celebrate a goal against the Comox Valley, much to the chagrin of Glacier Kings goalie Matt Henwood, during the Cougars’ Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League home opener Thursday at Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt. Victoria won 5-0. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Just Posted

Public packs Victoria mosque during B.C.’s Open Mosque Day

‘The best way to deal with fear is to educate. That’s what we are trying to do here’

Vancouver Island First Nations Youth Ambassadors deliver message to the United Nations

The delegation appeared at an event celebrating ‘the rich tapestry of global cultural diversity’

Turning pro on the Island

Pacific FC’s Brad Norris-Jones talks about his journey to pro sports in Victoria

Fitness and health programming drew more than 12,000 participants in Saanich

New report also finds a gender split in programming

Local tongue-in-cheek opportunists flog snow huts

‘Executive’ and ‘eco-friendly’ one-bedrooms pop up on Craigslist and Used Victoria

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Most Read