The Peninsula Panthers’ season drew to a close on Friday night as the Victoria Cougars beat the locals out in game six of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League finals.
Friday night’s game saw the Panthers slapped with 66 penalty minutes in the third period alone as they struggled to keep up with the Cougars. In the end, the team fell short and the 3-0 loss wrapped up the best-of-seven series 4-2 for the Cougars.
“I want to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to our fans and sponsors, many of you who were in attendance last night at game six,” said Panthers owner Pete Zuberksy on Saturday.
“The disappointment for me has already dissipated and in its place I look fondly back at a great season that our entire organization enjoyed. Two and a half years ago when we jumped back into the VIJHL to try and bring the Peninsula Panthers back from the brink of folding, we knew the task was going to be daunting. The sense of accomplishment in playing before a packed rink last night is something that everyone in our organization is very proud of.”
The first star of Friday night’s game was given to Cougars’ goalie Nathan Hargrave for the shutout. The second star went to Panther Spencer Loverock and the third to Cougars defenceman John Kretzschmar.
With the VIJHL playoff win under their belts, the Victoria Cougars will advance to the Cyclone Taylor Cup in Nelson, B.C. beginning April 10.
This is the third consecutive year the Cougars have advanced to the Cyclone Taylor Cup which sees teams from the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League and the Pacific International Junior Hockey League fight for the title of provincial champions.
The last time the Cougars won the Cyclone Taylor Cup was the 2006/07 season.