The Peninsula Panthers pounced on the Comox Valley Glacier Kings for three unanswered first-period goals and skated to a 4-2 victory Monday night at the Panorama Recreation Centre.
The win evened the teams’ best-of-seven Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League second round playoff series at 2-2. Game 5 goes Wednesday night in Courtenay, with game time 7 p.m. at Comox Valley Sports Centre Arena #1.
Alex Milligan was a one-man wrecking crew for the Panthers, tallying three goals, while goalie Joey Karrer, making his first post-season start, picked up the win and first star honours as Peninsula out-shot Comox Valley 38-25. Michael Hails took the loss.
The Panthers grabbed the lead just 40 seconds into the game courtesy of second star Milligan, who added his second at 11:10 to make it 2-0. Zack Smith netted the winner at 16:05. Eric Margo got the visitors on the board at 1:49 of the second period with an unassisted tally.
The Yetis cut the lead to 3-2 at 12:25 of the third when Ali Gotmy lit the lamp. The G-Kings pulled Hails in favour of the extra attacker with just over a minute to play, and Milligan finished off a breakaway by dumping the puck into the empty cage to seal the deal.
There were only four minor penalties called, with the Icemen going 0-for-3 on the power play and the Panthers 0-for-1. Former Glacier King Rylan Ball contributed two assists to the win and was the game’s third star.
Game 6 goes March 14 in Peninsula and Game 7 if necessary is March 15 in Courtenay, with game time 7:30 p.m. at Comox Valley Sports Centre Arena #1.
Forget the hot dogs and fries.
Goose eggs are are the hottest selling item at the Comox Valley Sports Centre and Panorama Recreation Centre during the second round of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs.
The first three games in the Comox Valley vs. Peninsula semifinal series have resulted in shutouts, with the Yetis’ Michael Hails showing he is well-deserving of his VIJHL 2013-14 Top Goaltender award by blanking the Panthers in Game 2 and Game 3 to give his team a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series.
Peninsula won the series opener 2-0 on March 4 in Courtenay behind the 24-save effort of Stephen Heslop. The Icemen evened the series March 7 in Peninsula with a 3-0 win, with Hails making 28 saves.
In a key Game 3 in Courtenay on March 8, Hails was once again unbeatable, turning aside 39 shots to backstop the G-Kings to a 4-0 win.
Along with sensational goaltending by Hails, the Yetis have got their special teams working. In Game 3 Saturday night, Comox Valley went 2-for-7 on the power play and successfully killed all seven of the Panthers’ man-advantage situations.
After a scoreless first period, Duncan Pernal potted the only goal the Glacier Kings would need at 0:45 of the second on the power play. Derian Hamilton lit the lamp at 2:09 and Jordan Kamprath made it 3-0 with his power-play goal at 12:14. Eric Margo’s unassisted shorthanded goal at 12:15 of the third sealed the deal.
Hails was first star, Kamprath (1g, 2a) was second star and Quinlan Moore (2a) was third star.
Friday night in Peninsula the Yetis went 2-for-17 on the power play while the Panthers were 0-for-11 in the G-Kings 3-0 win.
Liam Shaw in the first period, Dallas Maxwell in the second on the PP, and Cody Eliason unassisted on the PP in the third did the damage for the visitors.
Hails was the first star while Eliason was the second star.
ICE CHIPS The defending VIJHL champion Victoria Cougars lead the other semifinal series 2-1 over the Campbell River Storm with Game 3 played Wednesday … the VIJHL playoff champ advances to the Cyclone Taylor Cup (B.C. Jr. B championship) April 9-12 in Nelson … the B.C. winner goes on to the Keystone Cup (Western Canada Jr. B championship) April 17-20 in Abbotsford …