Panther Luc Pelletier (#26) levels the Cougars’ Matthew Clarke (#12) in VIJHL action last Friday night at the Panorama Recreation Centre as the Panthers outplayed the Cougars, but still lost 2-0. (Gordon Lee/Submitted)

Peninsula Panthers lose against Victoria Cougars, focus on playoffs

With four games left, the club will play two straight home games, starting Friday

The Peninsula Panthers out-chanced and out-played the Victoria Cougars Friday night, but still lost 2-0 before taking out their frustrations on the Kerry Park Islanders by pounding them 6-0.

Friday’s home game against the Cougars offered the Panthers an opportunity to avenge their recent 2-1 loss against Victoria, a game that prompted head coach Brad Tippett to call out some of his players for a lack of effort. The Panthers took this message to heart as they out-shot the Cougars 28-22, only to concede a goal in the second and third period each.

Fewer than 48 hours after their frustrating performance, the Panthers scored six in shutting out the Kerry Park Islanders, with Tanner Wort scoring two goals in extending his lead on top of the scorer’s list with 81 points on the strength of 39 goals and 42 assists.

RELATED: Peninsula Panthers lose against Victoria Cougars after drubbing Kerry Park

The club now has its focus on the final four games, two of which will be home, starting this Friday night, when the Panthers host the Westshore Wolves 7:30 p.m.. They will then play a rare matinee game on Family Day Monday, when they host the Saanich Braves with the puck dropping at 1 p.m.

Friday’s game will preview the Panthers’ upcoming playoff round against the Westshore Wolves. Most expect the game to be emotional which could result in some fireworks as the two team will start to feel each other out before the playoffs.

The Panthers then expect a full house on Monday, when players wear their third jerseys against the Saanich Braves. The team will then gift 28 of the jerseys through a draw to Peninsula Minor Hockey Association players and attending fans. The team will also give out prizes during the game itself including the Season Grand Prize courtesy of Mary Winspear Centre.

“I expect our fans to be out in full force for the two games,” said Pete Zubersky, general manager. “The club has really had a wonderful season and we are hoping the best is yet to come. On Friday we will get a late season look at our first round opponent and I would imagine there will be no love lost. And on Monday afternoon, we are asking the fans to arrive at the game a bit early for the 1 p.m. start as this will probably be our biggest crowd of the season.”

Zubersky said fans love the third jersey giveaway and the team planned the game to start early in the afternoon, so younger fans, who might not otherwise come out, can attend.

“This game is always electric,” he said.


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