The Peninsula Panthers grappled their way to a third consecutive win at home during last Friday’s game against the Kerry Park Islanders.
The game was dominated on the Panthers’ side by 18-year-old forward Cole Glover, who picked up two goals and an assist in a heart-stopping 6-5 shootout win.
Panthers’ owner Pete Zubersky likens the fit between the Panthers and Glover to “salt and pepper, apple pie and ice cream, bacon and eggs. Some things just go together and Cole and the Panthers seem like they’re going to fit like a Glove(r),” he joked.
Glover played minor hockey with Peninsula and last year he captained the South Island major midget team in his last year at that level. Glover was picked up for the post-season by the Panthers and was a big contributor, so much so, Zubersky said, that he was signed in the spring and named as an alternate captain.
In Friday’s game, Glover opened the scoring four minutes into the first frame when he was left all alone in front of the visitors’ net and shovelled a short-handed marker past Islanders’ goaltender Jackson Jane.
Three minutes later, the Islanders answered when Kyle Horseman made good on a breakaway after a defensive breakdown on a Panthers power play.
Cody Breitenstein and Jonas Horvath gave the Panthers a 3-1 lead by midway in the first but the Islanders responded with one by Alex Milligan before the buzzer sounded.
Glover got back on the board in the first minute of the second with an assist and added his second goal less than a minute later to give the Panthers a commanding lead.
Sloppy play by the Panthers saw the Islanders score three goals before the teams went to the dressing room after the second, tied at five. Nothing changed in the third period or the overtime as the teams prepared for a shootout.
“We played well coming out of the gate, but I think we let it slide and the game ended up being way closer than it needed to be, definitely too close for comfort,” said Glover.
In the shootout, Cole Golka scored one goal out of three for the Panthers which was all it took. Panthers’ netminder Stephen Heslop blocked all three Islander attempts.
“Thankfully we were able to pick it up and get the win,” said Glover of the tight game, in which he was named the night’s first star.
The Panthers are looking to extend their at-home winning streak this Friday night as they host the Nanaimo Buccaneers at 7:30 p.m. at Panorama Recreation Centre.