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Peninsula Panthers shutout by Port Alberni after beating first-placed Victoria Cougars

The Panthers round out 2022 with a road game against the Westshore Wolves
Tanner Banks carries the puck against the Victoria Cougars as the Peninsula Panthers beat their arch-rivals 7-6 Dec. 15 before dropping a 6-0 game against the Port Alberni Bombers on Dec. 17. (Christian J. Stewart Photography/Submitted)


That is how Peninsula Panthers’ owner and general manager Pete Zubersky described the recent performance of the defending Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) champions.

On Saturday, Dec.17, the Panthers lost 6-0 against the Port Alberni Bombers in their first shutout loss of the season - the worst defeat as measured by goal margin.

The Panthers suffered this double ignominy against the third-worst team in the league with 20 points separating the two teams as of Monday.

Two nights earlier, the Panthers beat the Victoria Cougars 7-6, currently sitting in second place in the overall standings. On Dec. 13, they lost 5-4 in overtime against the Kerry Park Islanders, another team in the lower half of the league standings.

RELATED: Peninsula Panthers get ‘spanked’ by Victoria Cougars in 5-1 loss

“We have one game left before Christmas against Westshore and the break is most welcome,” said Zubersky. “Perhaps we can re-focus and get back to playing hard every game. We have a group that can win when committed; however, unfortunately, commitment has been a struggle to find on a consistent basis. On the bright side we are going to get some really good players back from injury in January and that will make a huge difference.”

The Panthers currently find themselves in second place of VIJHL’s South Division, three points behind the Cougars and round of their 2022 schedule with a road game Dec. 21 against the Westshore Wolves.

“We are within striking distance of first place and hold onto second place right now and I feel we are in a good spot to have a great stretch run,” he said. “By the time we play our first game back at home on January 6 (against the Saanich Predators) we will have played six straight games on the road and we are due for some home cooking.”

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