NORTH SAANICH — This past week was undoubtedly a busy one for the Peninsula Panthers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
Only 60 seconds before midnight and the Junior hockey trading deadline right across Canada, the Panthers traded 20-year-old veteran Garnett Roberts to Kerry Park Islanders for future considerations. Roberts had been with the Panthers for the past two plus seasons and the Panthers were looking to give the youngsters more ice time as they retool and rebuild for the rest of this season and beyond. The deal came down quickly and was completed just one minute under the gun.
On Friday at the Panorama Recreation Centre, the Panthers hosted the North Division leading and red hot Campbell River Storm. In perhaps the most entertaining and exciting game in the league this season, the Storm prevailed , 9-7.
Newly-appointed Trevor Owens lead the way with four goals and a helper in the loss. The two clubs raced up and down the ice all night long and highlight reel goals were the flavor of the night. The crowd was buzzing as they left the ice.
“It was the most exciting game in the league this season,” said General Manager Pete Zubersky. “I felt that we deserved the win. We outshot the Storm 33-28 and put ourselves in a position to win. We had a couple key guys out of the lineup and although we had Tanner Wort and Nathan Hauser up from the Midget team, it was a bit unfair as the game was so fast.
“I really love the group we have now that the deadline is over. We still have one card left and it can be used on players that are currently not on a card right across Canada. We still have some irons in the fire and may yet make one more addition.”
The Panthers schedule does not look any easier. They host the Saanich Braves this Friday at 7:30 pm.
A sizable crowd is expected for what should be a hotly contested affair.