Scoring isn’t an issue for the Westshore Wolves, with an average of 3.5 goals per game. Playing 60 minutes of two-way hockey, however, is where coach Rob Doyle is focused.
“Hit and miss is exactly what we are. (Saturday) we were up 2-0 in an unbelievable game (against the Comox Valley Glaciers). For five minutes we fell asleep (in the second period) and they scored three goals, one of them shorthanded, and we lost the game (6-3).”
Wednesday (Dec. 11) the mercurial Wolves (11-13-7) are home to the Saanich Braves (8-18-2), for a 7 p.m. face off at Bear Mountain Arena.
On Dec. 4 the Cougars walloped the Wolves 9-0. It’s not the Cougars’ first lopsided win over the Wolves this year.
“We can play with anybody in this league, just not Victoria, for some reason,” Doyle said. “I’m not sure what that about, we take way too many penalties against them.”1
While the Wolves have plenty of depth up front, it’s no secret the Wolves’ biggest weakness is its defence. With 139 goals against, it’s the worst in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, in line with the woeful Oceanside Generals and their four-win season.
And it’s not for a lack of trying. The Wolves moved big Clay Carson to defence and the puck-mover was looking good until a back issue started to keep him out of games. On Nov. 13 the Wolves acquired VIJHL and BCHL veteran Jesse Spooner, a 20-year-old rearguard from the Campbell River Storm. Spooner played one game and broke his hand. He should be back in January, Doyle said.
The club has also made some key forward additions, including adding Corey Peterson in November, the 18-year-old, younger brother of former Cyclone Taylor Cup champion Kyle Peterson, who came to the Wolves in September.
“Kyle has been great for us. There was a notion he would come with baggage but it’s not true, he’s been great on and off the ice,” Doyle said.
The Wolves visit the Victoria Cougars, 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Archie Browning Sports Centre.