Ice melts on Panthers, Braves matinee

Victoria Cougars, Saanich Braves remain top two ranked junior B teams in B.C.

A Zamboni malfunction led to a postponed Sunday afternoon game between the home team Peninsula Panthers and visiting Saanich Braves at Panorama Recreation Centre on Sunday (Dec. 9).

With a large crowd in attendance, the Braves and Panthers skated the traditional 15-minute warmup, with the Panthers debuting a new third jersey.

After the warm up, the Zamboni came out for a pre-game flood and broke down inside the Panthers blueline. Hot water emptied onto the ice and melted a spot down to the concrete. The game was cancelled and is to be rescheduled at a later date.

The Braves had defeated the Panthers 3-2 on Wednesday (Dec. 5) and the Sunday game was to be their second of the week. On Friday the Panthers won their first game in three attempts under promoted coach Brian Passmore. The former assistant took over on Nov. 30 when Rob Armstrong left for a post with B.C. Hockey.

Injuries, meanwhile, slowed the Braves (20-4-0-2) up as the second best team in the province fell 4-3 in a shootout loss to the Oceanside Generals at Pearkes arena on Friday.

Top line forwards Josh Gray and Max Mois, who made his Braves debut on Wednesday, both missed Friday’s game. They are part of a long list of injured Braves with Tom Dakers, Jordan Groenhyde and Brandon Parmar.

To make room for Mois, formerly of the Westshore Wolves, the Braves moved 20-year-old Andrew White to the Comox Valley Glaciers, host of this year’s Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial championship.

The Victoria Cougars (27-1-0-1) remained atop the list of B.C.’s best junior B teams this week.

Frustrations boiled over as the Cougars routed the Kerry Park Islanders 10-0 on Thursday and 10-1 on Saturday. The Islanders racked up 164 penalty minutes on Saturday, with the Cougars picking up 75. It was up from 82 for the Islanders and 48 for the Cougars on Wednesday.

sports@vicnews.com

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