The Peninsula Panthers chalked up their first win of the 2014/15 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season on Friday night against the previously undefeated Campbell River Storm.
After a slew of roster and coaching changes over the last two weeks, the young club looks to be on the verge of turning their season around, said team owner Pete Zubersky.
“We have really played well over the last five games and it is only a matter of time until the wins start rolling in,” said Zubersky before the puck dropped on Friday night.
There was no scoring in the first frame of Friday night’s game but the two clubs exchanged goals in the second, Michael Olsen for the Storm and Reece Costain replying for the home squad.
The Panthers opened scoring in the final period when Kai Turner pounced on a loose puck with under two minutes played. And when a shot by Tom Dakers banked off the pants of Koby Hale who had stationed himself in front of Storm goaltender Joey Karrer and bounded into the net, it looked the the Panthers might take the game with a 3-1 lead.
But the win would not come easy. The Storm responded on the powerplay when, with just under four minutes left, Nathan Browne blasted a shot from the point that beat Panthers’ netminder Will Harvey.
The Storm pulled Karrer with 90 seconds to go but the Panthers would not be beat on this night and when the final buzzer sounded the team spilled onto the ice in celebration with Harvey.
“It was awesome to get that one into the books,” said Panthers’ Coach Rob Mortin after the game.
“Now we have to continue and start to put a string of wins together. I really love working with this group and I think we are going to be heard from before this season is over.”
The Panthers host the Comox Valley Glacier Kings this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Panorama Recreation Centre.