Peninsula Panthers on wrong side of high-scoring hockey game

Panthers fall to Oceanside, 8-6, on the road in VIJHL action.

Panthers’ goaltender Shawn Parkinson and Captain Josh Poland lead the team onto the ice to start the second period in Parksville Sunday

Peninsula had one of their most energetic hockey games of the season Sunday on the road in Parksville and while the score wasn’t what they had hoped for, the level of compete was everything the coaching staff wanted.

After an hour and a half on the bus, where a lively bunch of Panthers worked themselves up for an important game and a shot at a second win in a row, the players poured out of the bus for a brisk walk to the Oceanside Generals’ rink in a light rain. Coach Brad Tippett and General Manager Pete Zubersky say they try to keep their arrival times tight, so the players don’t have too much time to over-think the game.

Following a quick change and warm up, the Panthers jumped onto the ice. They were coming off a 4-3 win Friday, Nov. 18 at home against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings and feeling good heading into a tilt with the Generals. Oceanside, on the other hand, was hungry for a win after falling 5-3 to the same Glacier Kings the night before.

While both teams got off to a fast start, it was Oceanside that opened the scoring around nine minutes into the first period.

Panthers’ defenseman Chase O’Keefe scored their first goal less than three minutes later. However, the Generals took a 2-1 lead 23 seconds later on a shot from just inside the blue line.

The back and forth scoring would continue through much of the game — Peninsula would strike back, followed by Oceanside’s counterattack.

Peninsula held a 3-2 lead into the first intermission, on goals from Kai Turner and Josh Poland.

Oceanside tied the game 58 seconds into the second period and took a 4-3 lead around six minutes later.

A fifth Oceanside goal saw the Panthers pull starting goalie Shawn Parkinson, replacing him with 15-year-old call up Chris Combiadakis, who hadn’t played a game all season. He was brought in when regular back up Liam Tutte went down last week with a concussion.

Trevor Owens would score the Panthers’ lone goal of the period.

Both teams added two more goals in the third period, with Owens and Michael Sproule scoring for Peninsula. Oceanside would take the match 8-6.

Tippett said the team had gotten themselves  into a hole early but skated well and dominated puck control for much of the game.

“We hadn’t scored 10 goals in a weekend all season, so we’re moving in the right direction.”

The Panthers host the Campbell River Storm Fri., Nov. 25 at Panorama at 7:30 p.m.