With the playoff match-up now set, the Peninsula Panthers will close out their 48-game regular season on Friday night when they host the visiting Kerry Park Islanders.
The Panthers will wear a special edition Valentine’s Day jersey and after the game the jerseys will be gifted to 23 Peninsula Minor Hockey players during an on-ice ceremony.
After Friday, the Panthers’ thoughts will turn to the post-season as the team prepares to go head-to-head against the Westshore Wolves.
The Panthers will hold home-ice advantage in the series and will open up the playoff at home on Monday evening at 7:30 p.m.
They will then travel to Bear Mountain next Wednesday, Feb. 19 before returning back home for game three the following Friday evening.
“We have to form an identity when the playoffs hit,” said Panthers’ Assistant Coach Ben King.
“We’re a big strong club and when we don’t play our size, we can’t expect to win.
“This club has all the tools to go on a long playoff run — we have experience, goal-scoring, solid defence and above-average goaltending, so we just have to get in the playoff mode in game one against the Wolves.”
The Panthers controlled the regular-season series against the Wolves however the playoffs is a brand new season, said team manager, Pete Zuberky.
“I like our squad as much as any team we’ve had since Coreen and I jumped back into ownership with John Wilson,” he said.
“Anything can happen in the playoffs and that’s what makes this time of year so exciting.
“We respect the Wolves and the firepower that they possess. They can run up the score as quickly as any team in the league and they’re comfortable playing a run-and-gun high-scoring game. This style has caused problems for teams in our league all season long and so we are hoping to neutralize some of that offensive punch.”