Panthers welcome Braves to Panorama Rec Centre

Team readies to host Saanich in Thursday night game

Panthers sniper Cole Golka beats Nanaimo Buccaneers goaltender Riley Medves last Thursday night in Nanaimo.

Panthers sniper Cole Golka beats Nanaimo Buccaneers goaltender Riley Medves last Thursday night in Nanaimo.

The Peninsula Panthers will host the red hot Saanich Braves tomorrow evening for the only Thursday night home game in their 48-game schedule.

The Braves are coming off a recent victory over the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League-leading Victoria Cougars and the Panthers are looking at the matchup as a measuring stick for the second half of their season.

“We’re all looking forward to seeing the Braves on Thursday,” said hockey operations boss Pete Zubersky.

“This is the first time they are coming to our building this season and we played them hard the two times we met at Pearkes earlier in the year. The last time we met, the Braves took the game in the shootout so I believe that it will be a great game with two really good squads.”

The Panthers faced the Buccaneers in Nanaimo last Thursday and trailed 4-1 midway through the second period. The team managed to tie the game at 4-4 at the end of regulation but all the hard work was lost when a mistake in the neutral zone allowed a Nanaimo forward to go against Panthers goalie Stephen Heslop alone and bury a winner.

On Friday the Panthers welcomed the Westshore Wolves to Panorama Recreation Centre and took the game, 8-4. Panthers team member Josh Round was in goal and was credited with the win. Round was obtained in a trade with the Comox Valley Glacier Kings earlier in the week.

Talented sniper Cole Golka also made an impression in last week’s games by gathering up five goals and three assists against the Buccaneers and the Wolves.

The Panthers still hold third place in the South Division of the VIJHL. Thursday’s game against the Braves kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Panorama Recreation Centre.