The streaking Oceanside Generals marched into town on Friday night looking for their sixth win in a row, but thanks to monster games by Peninsula Panthers forwards Dane Gibson and Joe Densmore, the Generals limped out of the Panorama Recreation Centre. They were thoroughly humiliated by the host by a 6-2 count in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action. Gibson, who was named the game’s first star, tallied early and often lighting the lamp three times, while 20-year-old Densmore who scored once and added four helpers for a five-point evening was named second star. Kylar Stern, the third star, was again brilliant between the pipes and managed to keep the Generals at bay any time the momentum swayed in their direction. Tyler Porteous who as of late seems to score at least a goal a game opened the scoring with a shorthanded marker early in the first to round out the scoring summary. His goal set off a shower of teddy bears in the Panthers’ annual Christmas Teddy Bear Toss.
Coach Rob Armstrong was more than a little pleased with his club’s effort in pounding the visitors. “Joe (Densmore) had been fighting it a bit as of late and so the whole team was happy for him. He mentioned as he left the ice that it was nice to get the monkey off his back and I think that we will see a lot more as Joe takes a major leadership role as we move towards the playoffs,” Armstrong said.
Peninsula product Gibson, 17, saw some additional ice on Friday night as both Kyle and Cole Peterson were out of the lineup. He ran with the opportunity.
“He had goals on the powerplay, on penalty kills and at even strength so you can’t ask for more than that,” Armstrong said.
On Saturday night the Panthers travelled up to Oceanside for the second half of the home-and-home series and, after opening with two quick powerplay goals, the ice seemed to tilt in favour of the Generals. They scored four unanswered markers and led 4-2 after two frames. It did not appear the Panthers would find the answer this night, but as the ice was being cleaned at intermission, the Zamboni picked up an object that scarred the surface leaving the balance of the game unplayable. The VIJHL will have to rule how and when this matchup will be decided.
Panthers are now on an extended Christmas break and will not see action until Friday, Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m. when they host the Victoria Cougars.
Eight members of the club attended Deep Cove elementary last Friday and played floor hockey with the students. They gave away several gifts and the entire school was invited to the game against the Generals at no charge.
The head coach for Trinity Western College was in attendance and raved about the play of 20-year-old Panthers’ captain, Jake Bryan. WHL scouts were in contact with the club this week asking questions about 6’5” defenceman Iver Oedegaard, and Dane Gibson.
Many Panthers will be out with Peninsula Minor Hockey players for an ice session on New Year’s Day.