Panthers prepare for home opener

Local junior B hockey team holds training camps this week, home opener scheduled for September 5

NHL Dallas Stars Captain Jamie Benn

In nine days the Peninsula Panthers will open their 2014/15 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League regular season when they play host to the Westshore Wolves on Sept. 5 at the Panorama Recreation Centre.

The Club will be holding their main camp this coming weekend with inter-squad games set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a round of player cuts to follow. Then a full week of practice will take place before the season opener next Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.

There will be sweeping changes on a lineup that was ranked near the top of the VIJHL last season said team owner and manager, Pete Zubersky.

In the end, the Panthers lost to the Victoria Cougars in a hard fought six-game playoff series.

Zubersky said local fans should expect to see a lion’s share of local graduates from the Peninsula Minor Hockey Association.

“There’s no doubt about it,” said Zubersky. “We will feature a lot of local kids and that is a real benefit of having a junior club right in your own back yard.

“It has always been our way of doing business, giving opportunities to kids right here in our community, and this season will be no different.

“I would expect that we might have ten or more local players nailing down spots in the club and that will certainly raise the excitement level with our fan base.

“There is nothing like coming out on a Friday night and watching the faces that you know, the kids that you have watched growing up wanting to play on the Peninsula Panthers team.”