Panthers play Braves to kick off the new year

The Panthers are looking to start 2014 off with a bang when they hit the ice New Year’s Day against the Saanich Braves

Cole Glover

The Peninsula Panthers were solidly entrenched in second place in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Southern Division as they hit the Christmas Break.

The team has been solid at home over the first 32 games of the regular season and going into the final third of their schedule, they hope to capture some of that magic on the road.

“We have been better than good at home,” explained Pete Zubersky, Panthers manager of hockey operations.

“But for some reason the wins have been a lot tougher to get on the road. We usually have a better record at home but this year the ice has been slanted out on the Peninsula.”

Zubersky also said he would like to add a forward or two as the team hits the Jan. 10 carding deadline but does not want to make any harsh moves that would destroy the team’s chemistry.

“We are loaded on the back end and could use a goal scorer or two,”  he said, “but some of our kids have really grown and really matured, like Connor Logan and Tate Coughlin. They just keep getting better.

“We’re hoping that Reece Costain can get back and hit his stride after Christmas and Zack Smith seems to be figuring it out and is starting to score like we all knew he could. We’ll see what happens. I know that our Head Coach and GM Brian Passmore is working the lines so it will be interesting to see how it pans out.”

The Panthers are looking to start 2014 off with a bang when they hit the ice New Year’s Day for a 4 p.m. start against the Saanich Braves on the road.

The team will then be back at home on Friday, Jan. 3 to resume their regular schedule when the Oceanside Generals make their final visit to Panorama.