Elephants never forget. Neither do Cougars.
The Victoria Cougars, whose only blemish on a B.C. Jr. B hockey best 22-0-1 record was a 4-3 overtime loss to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings back on Sept. 22, avenged that loss Sunday afternoon in Esquimalt.
Penalties played a big part in the battle of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League division leaders as the Cougars’ VIJHL-leading power play went 5-for-9 in a lopsided 9-3 victory.
It was the Yetis third game in three days against South Division opponents. They kept it close in the first period, trailing just 3-1, but the Cougars pulled away to a 7-2 lead in the second and were never threatened after that. The Capital City Cats outshot Comox Valley 41-29, with 16-year-old starting goalie Denon Maximchuck giving way to Josh Round early in the third period.
“(We) came out strong in the first period, some questionable calls altered the momentum of the second period combined with Victoria capitalizing on the power play,” the Glacier Kings said in a press release.
The Icemen went 1-for-4 with the man advantage, with Wade Bartlett netting his seventh of the season on the power play. Jack Kennelly’s sixth of the campaign and Mitch Ball’s team-leading 16th of the year were the other goal scorers for the Yetis.
Evan Roch, the league’s top goalie, recorded his 13th win of the year to go along with a sparkling 1.62 GAA while Brody Coulter added two goals and two assists to his league-leading stats.
On Saturday, the Glacier Kings hosted the other end of the South Division spectrum in the Kerry Park Islanders, winners of just two of 22 games. “A physical start … created a momentum that carried (us) to a 5-3 win,” the Icemen noted. “A key component … was (our) penalty kill.”
After a scoreless first period, the Icemen took a 3-1 lead in the second. They outshot the Islanders 39-23, with affiliate call-up Maximchuck picking up the win.
Curtis Csuk, Sasha Hahn, Jordan Kamprath, Carter Jensen and Sheldon Brett tallied for Comox Valley.
Head coach Bill Rotheisler commended forward Jensen on his play this weekend.
“Jensen was the all round player we look to in these situations. He cares a great deal
about his teammates and shows it in his energy and defensive play, mixing in a fight and a goal. (These are) all keys to individual and team success.”
The Icemen got the weekend started Nov. 16 at the Panorama Leisure Centre, where the Peninsula Panthers shut them out 2-0 on the scoreboard and 3-0 in the three star selections.
First star Sheldon Heslop stopped 23 shots to lay his second goose egg of the season, second star Nathan Looysen scored the game winner just 2:43 into the first period and third star Zack Smith tallied a power-play goal in the second.
Round was the hard-luck loser, kicking out 24 shots. This was the fourth and final regular season meeting of the two clubs, with the Panthers sweeping the series.
The Yetis close out the November portion of their schedule this Saturday when they host the Campbell River Storm in a 7:30 p.m. start at Comox Valley Sports Centre #1.