Panthers forward No. 14 Bryson Hines gathers in a puck in VIJHL action Friday night in a game against the Kerry Park Islanders. (Gordon Lee photography)

Panthers get the claws out for Friday’s cat fight

Team faces Victoria Cougars after toppling them in December

The Peninsula Panthers will host the Victoria Cougars this week in a game that is shaping up to be an old fashioned cat fight in the confines of the Panorama Recreation Centre.

The Panthers knocked off the Cougars 4-1 in Esquimalt last month, and that will not be lost on either team during their last regular season matchup of the season.

“I thought we played a full 60 minutes in that win,” recalled Panthers general manager Pete Zubersky.

RELATED: Peninsula Panthers gear up for home stretch

With just 12 games Zubersky said he’d like to see the team get on a roll going into the playoffs with newly acquired power forward Matt Sparrow.

“[Sparrow] played his first game last Friday night after being out the entire season with a knee injury, but he showed some great signs three or four different times that he will be a force,” Zubersky said.

Sparrow played last season with the Victoria Cougars, however was moved to the Nanaimo Buccaneers after his injury in an Alberta Junior A camp in September. The Panthers were able to obtain his rights a couple months ago from the Bucs as it was not clear when he might return and now it looks like that move might turn out to be a steal.

RELATED: Peninsula Panthers capture pair of important weekend wins

“He is a big and imposing figure at 6’2”, 215 pounds and he let us know early that he hates to lose.,” Zubersky explained. “I know Matt is really looking forward to facing his old team this Friday and I would expect that he will bring a bit of an edge.”

The Panthers were knocked off 5-2 last Friday night at home against the Kerry Park Islanders.

Josh Lingard and Jack McMillan were the Cats marksmen but the scoreboard was not indicative of how the game played out. The Panthers outshot the visitors by a 48-30 margin but could not solve Islanders’ stopper Rett Rook.

Chris Akerman took the loss between the pipes for the Panthers.

The Panthers face the Westshore Wolves Wednesday at the Q-Centre, a game that has significance in VIJHL standings. And they will be looking to scratch out a win on Friday (Jan. 11) in the “Battle of the Cats” with the puck set to drop at 7:30 pm.

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