The Panthers Logan Speirs (#21) dishes off the puck in second period action last Friday night at the Panorama Recreation Centre as the Panthers beat the Westshore Wolves 3-1. (Gordon Lee/Submitted)

The Panthers Logan Speirs (#21) dishes off the puck in second period action last Friday night at the Panorama Recreation Centre as the Panthers beat the Westshore Wolves 3-1. (Gordon Lee/Submitted)

Panthers wrap up regular season with playoff preview

Peninsula faces off against Westshore Friday night before opening playoffs Monday

The Peninsula Panthers head into their final home game on a losing note, but with the knowledge the 2019/20 regular season will have been their best ever.

The Panthers head into their Friday Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) matchup against the Westshore Wolves with a record of 34 wins and 13 losses. Peninsula dropped a 3-2 decision to the Saanich Braves during a rare afternoon game on Family Day Monday. Billed as Peninsula Minor Hockey Association / Fan Appreciation game, the contest saw the Panthers fall behind by two goals before Drew Coughlin pulled one back for the Panthers towards the end of the first period.

Fans then saw a scoreless period, but also a slew of penalties, with five of six going against the Panthers. The visiting Braves, who travelled with their own fan support, gave themselves a cushion early in the third period, shortly after killing off one of four penalties during that period against them.

RELATED: Peninsula Panthers lose against Victoria Cougars, focus on playoffs

Increasingly desperate, the hosts upped the pressure as they outshot the visitors 14-3 during the final frame, but found themselves unable to solve Saanich goalie Robert Michetti, who robbed the Panthers of several scoring chances from close range. Luc Pelletier set up a strong finish with his goal with just over two minutes left. But the Panthers could not complete the comeback despite holding a two-man advantage for the final minute of the game after pulling the goalie with the Braves shorthanded.

The Panthers will look to conclude their regular season on a winning note against the team which they will face in the first round of the playoffs, the Westshore Wolves.

“This is going to be a tough series to win,” said Pete Zubersky, the Panthers’ general manager. “Both clubs can skate, both have goaltending and solid defence. We have a bit more experience and I hope that it factors into the series. I expect that both will have great support and I know that revs up our guys.”

The odds appear to favour the Panthers, who have won four out of seven against the Wolves this season, including Friday’s 3-1 home win. The Panthers sealed their victory when Tanner Wort scored his second goal of the game and his 41st of the season, tying the Panthers’ all-time regular season mark for most goals. Denver Maloney chipped in with a single while Connor McKillop picked up his 26th win of the season.

The two squads will look to renew acquaintances Friday, then again Monday. While the puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. on both nights, the stakes will be significantly higher on the second night as Zubersky expects the Panthers-Wolves playoff matchup to be the toughest of the four first-round affairs, with Peninsula holding home-ice advantage.

Elsewhere in the VIJHL’s South Division, the Victoria Cougars will open their playoffs against the Saanich Braves.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

Oak Bay High students Mimi Hill and Aine O’Donnell run along the Jack Wallace Memorial Track. The old track is due to be resurfaced. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay track resurfacing delayed

Oak Bay commits $50,000 towards renewed Jack Wallace track

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read