A tired Peninsula Panthers hockey team limped out of Oceanside late Sunday afternoon after being bounced by the Generals 4 to 2, tagging the club with their first regulation loss of the young Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season.
The game against Oceanside completed a hectic weekend of three games in four nights and left no doubt that conditioning is something the team will have to work on in the next few weeks to come.
“I thought we dragged our butts around the rink for the entire 60 minutes,” said Panther’s Operations Manager Pete Zubersky.
“We were simply outworked and once the Generals had some momentum and thought that they could beat us, it was tough to slow them down.”
Zack Smith and Connor Logan were the lone Panthers marksmen while Stephen Heslop blocked 33 of 37 shots and took the loss.
The weekend slate of games started out a bit more hopeful when the Panthers travelled to the Archie Browning arena on Thursday evening to take on the Victoria Cougars.
The game was highly entertaining and it was not until the second overtime period when the Cougars finally potted the goal that would end the game giving the Panthers a heartbreaking 6 to 5 loss.
Will Finlay, Cody Breitenstein, Sean Buchanan and Jackson Skerratt with two, all scored for the Panthers while Heslop was strong between the pipes blocking 49 of 53 shots.
Some home cooking on Friday was certainly what the Panthers needed as they dumped the visiting Westshore Wolves 7 to 4 at the Panorama Recreation Centre.
The locals got off to a quick start when Skerratt opened the scoring only 1:02 into the game and the onslaught continued as they scored the next three goals and cruised to the win.
Logan picked up the hat trick while Buchanan, Cole Glover and Reece Costain all chipped in with a goal.
Rookie goaltender, Joey Karrer who hails from Smithers, B.C. made his first junior start and picked up the win, taming the Wolves by blocking 32 of 36 shots directed his way.
The Panthers will take on the Wolves once again this Friday at Panorama with the puck set to drop at 7:30 p.m.