Victoria Cougars await next opponent in playoffs

The Victoria Cougars eliminated the Westshore Wolves and now wait for the winner of the Storm and Glacier Kings series.

The Victoria Cougars are back in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League championship final for the fifth straight year.

Nathan Looysen and Sam McMullen registered three points apiece as Victoria beat the Westshore Wolves 7-3 on Tuesday night at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre.

The Cougars, which will now await the winner of the Campbell River Storm/Comox Valley Glacier Kings series, swept Westshore in four straight games.

It was a neutral site game for both teams as the Victoria Grizzlies were using The Q Centre for their BCHL playoff tilt against the Powell River Kings.

The desperate Wolves opened the scoring on a shorthanded breakaway goal by Rylan Ball.  Without hesitation, Ball snapped the puck in between the pads of Anthony Ciurro at 1:09 of the first period.

Following an extended absence due to injury, Ciurro was back in between the pipes after missing the previous 24 games.

Victoria then flexed their offensive muscle by scoring three goals in a span of 78 seconds.

Brett Lervold tied the game at 6:05 with the lone assist going to Marino Somerville.  Then at 6:20, Jo Davie beat Chris Smith glove side.

After the goal, Westshore called a timeout.

Michael Fretz gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead after jamming the puck home from the side of the net at 7:23.

Penalties to Wade Johnson and Robert Zadra 46 seconds apart put the Wolves on an extended two-man advantage.  Westshore was able to put three shots on net but could not get any of them past Ciurro who finished the game with 26 saves.

Then with 4:01 remaining, Jordan Martin pulled the Wolves to within striking distance before the end of the period.

It remained 3-2 for Victoria until the 14:34 mark of the second period when a deflection off the stick of Ryan Carson doubled the score.  Zadra gave the Cougars a 5-2 lead after his point shot sailed past Smith at 15:05.  Both goals came on the power play.

Then at 18:14, Looysen finished off a three-on-one rush led by McMullen.

Johnson extended the lead 29 seconds into the third period before James Severs replied with a power play goal at 15:49.

Victoria went 2-for-4 with the man advantage; meanwhile, the Wolves finished 1-for-9.

Smith made 30 saves in a losing cause.

Playing their final junior game were Clay Carson, Connor Krupa, Quentin McShane, Spencer Preece, Kayle Ramsay, and Tyler Smith.

The Cougars outscored Westshore 27-6 in the series.

The Cougars are waiting the outcome of the Cambell River Storm and Comox Valley Glacier Kings series. Campbell River now holds a 3-1 lead in the series and can wrap things up tonight in a game in Campbell River at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena.