Panthers split weekend hockey series with league-leaders

It was a pair of exciting games against two division leaders for the Peninsula Panthers this past weekend

Snow was flying at the Panorama Recreation Centre Friday evening during a hard-fought game between the Peninsula Panthers and the Victoria Cougars.

Snow was flying at the Panorama Recreation Centre Friday evening during a hard-fought game between the Peninsula Panthers and the Victoria Cougars.

It was a pair of exciting games against two division leaders for the Peninsula Panthers this past weekend.

The undefeated Victoria Cougars, who lead the south division of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, were guests at the Panorama Recreation Centre last Friday and put up a good fight against the young team.

Cougars’ players Mark Walton and Ben Kinshella scored before the game was 11 minutes old and Samuel Rice slipped another past Panthers’ starting goaltender Stephen Heslop with only one minute left in the second period. The Cougars took the game 3-0.

On Saturday night, the Panthers took on the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, who lead the north division of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

The exciting game saw the teams go into a shootout before a winner was decided.

The teams exchanged goals in the first period and for Peninsula Midget AA call-up Nathan Looysen it would be his first junior marker. Dane Gibson gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead on a powerplay goal early in the second but it would be all Comox for the remaining portion of the period as they put three past goaltender Heslop.

Trailing 4-2 going into the third, Panther Cole Glover scored to get the team within a goal. Cody Breitenstein knocked down a clearing attempt by the Glacier Kings and ripped one past Glacier Kings’ goaltender Josh Round.

The two teams ended regulation time tied at 4 and the five-minute overtime solved nothing. The game went into a shootout and Will Finlay finally squeaked one in over the glove of the Glacier Kings’ goalie. Heslop made good on the final shot from the Glacier Kings and the Panthers took the win 5-4.

The team is preparing to host the Campbell River Storm this Friday evening. The puck is set to drop at Panorama Recreation Centre at 7:30 p.m.