Victoria Cougars find competition from Nanaimo Buccaneers

The Nanaimo Buccaneers topped the Victoria Cougars 3-2 in a battle of the top Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League teams

The Nanaimo Buccaneers proved the Victoria Cougars are not a runaway favourite to win the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League title this year beating the Cougars 3-2 on Thursday.

Bucs goalie Ryan Waldhaus, formerly of the South Island Thunderbirds major midget team, stopped 24 of the Cougars’ 26 shots. Cougars captain Mark Walton and defenceman Graham Zagrodney scored in the loss.

The Bucs are now 12-2-0-0 with 24 points, first in the North division and second in the league behind the Cougars’ 25 points.

The Cougars (12-1-0-1) are back at it Thursday night against the Kerry Park Islanders (5-9-0-2), 7 p.m. at Archie Browning Sports Centre.

After winning 11 straight to start the season the Cougars have lost two of the past three games. The other loss was a 4-3 double-overtime decision to the Peninsula Panthers (6-6-2-1) on Oct.11.

The Saanich Braves (5-8-1-0) visit the Westshore Wolves (8-7-1-1) Wednesday, 7 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena. The Cougars and Panthers meet again on Friday at Panorama Rec. Centre, 7:30 p.m. start.

The Braves are seeking redemption as the Wolves put a sound 7-1 drubbing on the Braves at George Pearkes Arena on Friday. Brett Lervold and Braden Baehan scored two goals each for the Wolves, with singles from from Kevin Massy, Connor Krupa and Clay Carson. Hunter Atchison scored the only goal for the Braves.