Panthers make ready for opening night

First puck of the VIJHL season at Panorama drops Friday

Panthers #7 and VIJHL best skater Spencer Loverock wheels in open ice last season. Loverock will be looking to lead the Panthers in their home opener Friday night at 7:30 p.m. against the visiting Kerry Park Islanders.

The Peninsula Panthers are making the final preparations for their Friday night home opener against the Kerry Park Islanders.

With most of the players from last year’s squad returning with a year of Junior experience under their collective belts, the Panthers are looking to a strong season

“We feel we will compete at the top end of the VIJHL this time around,” said Head Coach and General Manager Brian Passmore.

“Last season our lineup featured 19 rookies and it was really a season of little expectations as our roster learned how to compete in the league. This time around we will have a strong cast of veterans and I expect that we should be pretty solid right off the bat.”

Missing from last year’s Panthers lineup will be Peninsula Minor Hockey product Nathan Looysen who was signed by the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League after filling the net in the Blazers main camp. Looysen came out of nowhere to crack their lineup and Passmore is enthused by his success.

“This is what our program is about,” he said.

“But this time around we want to win, we want players that have the will to win. We want to give our fans out here on the Peninsula something to cheer about every single time out.”

The puck drops for the first home game at 7:30 p.m. at Panorama Recreation Centre.