Peninsula Panthers host Wolves Friday night

Local hockey team working on the splits, looking to turn close games into wins.

Panthers’ Matt Forbes

NORTH SAANICH — The Peninsula Panthers split yet another set of games for the third weekend in a row, winning all three at home and losing all three on the road.

The Panthers clawed out a 5-2 win on Friday night (Oct. 23) against the Kerry Park Islanders at the Panorama Recreation Centre but dropped a 3-2 decision to the same Islanders Saturday night.

On Friday, Marty Westhaver, 16, scored his seventh goal of the season three-and-a-half minutes in and the Panthers did not look back.

Cam Thompson added to the lead with only 16 seconds remaining in the period. The Islanders came back with a marker of their own early in the second period, however, two goals by veteran Hunter Frampton left the Panthers up 4-1 at the end of 40 minutes. An Islanders’ marker made the game closer than it should have been. Nothing changed the rest of the way and with just a tick over two minutes left, the Islanders pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker. The move backfired when Michael Neale picked up a loose puck and scored to cap the win.

On Saturday in Mill Bay the tables were turned.  Kerry Park opened up a 3-0 lead on Panthers’ starter Shawn Parkinson and his mates. Late in the second period however, things changed dramatically. The Panthers’ Ty Hermsen gathered in a loose puck on a turnover deep in the Islanders’ zone at the 19:29 mark and scored. Ten seconds later, Thompson picked up a loose puck, snuck by two defencemen to backhand a shot to the top shelf to close the gap, 3-2.

The third period was frantic with the Panthers pushing to get the equalizer. They did get several opportunities but the goaltender stood firm.

“We had a great effort both nights,” said Panthers’ Head Coach Rob Mortin. “We once again stepped it up and were close to winning both.”

The Panthers host the red hot Westshore Wolves at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Panorama Recreation Centre.

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