At the speed the playoffs are progressing, the Vancouver Island Hockey League champion may have a sizable rest before advancing to the next stage of the Jr. B post-season.
Last night the Peninsula Panthers and Comox Valley Glacier Kings moved on with best-of-seven series-clinching victories over their opponents. Tonight the Victoria Cougars hope to finish off a sweep of the Kerry Park Islanders in Mill Bay, having built a 3-0 series lead. That game goes at 7:30 p.m. at the Kerry Park Arena.
On Monday at Pearkes Recreation Centre, the Kings needed an overtime goal from Duncan Pernal to complete their sweep of the Saanich Braves with a 3-2 win.
The Braves, fighting for their playoff lives after dropping Game 3 in Courtenay, 5-1 on Saturday, carried a 2-1 lead into the third period on goals by James Sneddon and Sasha Hahn.
The visitors tied the game with 1:30 left in the third when high-scoring defenceman Derian Hamilton beat Braves goaltender Eric Pallisier.
The Panthers never trailed against the Westshore Wolves at Panorama Recreation Centre, outshooting them 45-21 en route to a 7-3 win.
The Panthers raced out to a 3-0 second-period lead on goals by Zack Smith, Jackson Skerratt and Grayson Vickers. But the visitors pulled to within one before the midway point of the frame, with goals from Connor Krupa and Kyle Richter.
Jordan Law and Spencer Loverock restored the three-goal margin for the Panthers later in the second, then Skerratt and Reece Costain added third-period markers to put the game out of reach. Krupa rounded out the Wolves’ scoring with a late power play goal.
Although the 3-1 score may not have indicated, the South Division champion Cougars dominated Kerry Park at home on Sunday, outshooting them by a whopping 49-10 margin. Not surprisingly, Islanders goalie Leighton Williams was picked the game’s first star for stopping 46 shots.
Blake Roney scored twice for the winners, while Graham Zagrodney had a single. Michael Fretz had three assists.
The other series, Campbell River versus Nanaimo, was delayed due to weather on Sunday. The Storm, up 2-1, are scheduled to host Nanaimo tomorrow night, where the Buccaneers will try to even the series.
The VIJHL playoff champion advances to the Cyclone Taylor Cup, hosted this year by the Glacier Kings in Courtenay from April 11 to 14. Should the Kings win the league title, the other finalist will also advance.