Panthers advance to playoff finals against Cougars

Nail-biting game seven win Saturday night in Comox sends locals to finals

Peninsula Panther Grayson Vickers is turned aside by Comox Valley Glacier Kings’ goaltender Michael Hails during game six action last Friday night at Panorama Recreation Centre.

It was a nail biting finish for the Peninsula Panthers as they wrapped up the second round playoff series against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings winning the series four games to three Saturday night.

The Panthers were down 3-2 in the best of seven series against the Glacier Kings as of last Friday night but a spirited effort in front of a large home crowd gave them enough punch to beat the Kings 5-4.

The Panthers clung to the one-goal lead for most Friday night’s game and with just over a minute left in regulation, the Glacier Kings pulled goaltender Michael Hails for an extra attacker.

But, the Panthers held strong during the home game and forced the series to its full seven game run.

“The two teams played a solid defensive game on Saturday,” said Panthers owner, Pete Zubersky.

Comox forward Wil Finlay opened game seven’s scoring early in the first frame and Connor Logan answered for the Panthers shortly before the end of the period.

After that the game remained scoreless and went into two rounds of overtime until Panther Cole Glover scored for the cats and set off a wild celebration.

“Glover was our best forward tonight and it was nice to finally put the Glacier Kings to bed,” said Panthers Head Coach Brian Passmore after the game.

“(Stephen) Heslop was a stud between the pipes for us and that is the kind of playoff goaltending you need if you are going to win. We will have our plates full with the Cougars. We split the season series and this matchup is what everyone on the South Island was hoping for,” he said, adding that the two teams expect to see large numbers out for the finals.

The Panthers travel to Archie Browning tomorrow night (Thursday, March 20) for game one of the finals before returning back to Panorama Recreation Centre on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.