With playoffs starting this week, the Peninsula Panthers are preparing for a dogfight as they look to repeat last year’s championship win.
The Panthers finished the regular season of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) with a 4-3 shootout win over the Port Alberni Bombers Friday evening at the Panorama Recreation Centre.
In what head coach and general manager Pete Zubersky called the “final tune-up before playoffs,” Malcolm Fletcher scored in the shootout to clinch the victory.
“We came out of the game healthy and I believe for the first time for the entire season we have all hands on deck and everyone is ready to go.”
In the first round of VIJHL playoffs, the Panthers take on the Saanich Predators while the Victoria Cougars take on the Kerry Park Islanders in the south division. In the north, the Oceanside Generals take on the Port Alberni Bombers and the Campbell River Storm take on the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
Looking ahead Zubersky said, “the games will come fast and furious and we will need to be ready to go … These two teams are close, this series is going to go six or seven games and it will be a dogfight.”
Games 1 and 2 of the seven-game series will take place in Saanich on March 1 and 3 with 7:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. starts, respectively.
Peninsula is back on home ice for Games 3 and 4, with 7:30 p.m. starts on March 4 and 6. If necessary, Game 5 will go March 8 in Saanch, Game 6 March 10 at Panorama and Game 7 on March 12 in Saanich.
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