Sports

Important week for Panthers

Panthers
Panthers' captain Patrick Croome in game action against the Kerry Park Islanders last Friday night at the Panorama Recreation Centre. Panthers head of hockey operations Pete Zubersky says Croome will be relied heavily upon in the lead-up to the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs.
— image credit: Gordon Lee Photography

This week's games are going a long way in determining the fortunes of the Peninsula Panthers in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League standings.

The Panthers currently trail the third place Westshore Wolves by three points, but the Panthers have played three less games than the Wolves. The two teams squared off at the Bear Mountain Arena on Wednesday evening after press time.

The Panthers will be back home Friday night when they host the Kerry Park Islanders at the Panorama Recreation Centre. Two wins, one against the Wolves and one against the Islanders, would propel the Panthers past the Wolves and put them in the driver’s seat for third place.

“These are two very important contests for the club,” said Panthers General Manager Pete Zubersky. “We have matched up well against the Wolves this season but now the games really count. I would like to think we will be ready on Friday when we will hunt for a home win.”

The Panthers were dropped by the Islanders last Friday evening while playing at home. Down 5-2 late in the second frame, the Panthers battled back to tie the game midway through the third period before the Islanders took the lead with only a couple of minutes remaining. The Islanders then sealed the deal with an empty net goal in the dying seconds of play.

“We let that one slip through the cracks,” said Zubersky. “But you can't drive a car looking in the rear view mirror and we will be ready from here on in.”

The puck drops against the Islanders Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. at Panorama Recreation Centre.

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