Cougars, Braves meet tonight; VIJHL All-Star Classic is Sunday in Parksville

VIJHL All-Star Classic and Prospects Game in Parksville on Sunday

The Victoria Cougars will face the Saanich Braves on Thursday, but on Sunday, a combined 11 players from both teams will lace up the skates for the South division team at the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League All-Star Classic.

Puck drop is Thursday night between the league’s first-place Cougars (33-1-2-) and second-place Braves (25-7-2), 7 p.m. at the Archie Browning Sports Centre. The Prospects Game, Skills competition and All-Star Classic are at 1:30, 3:30 and 4:40 p.m. respectively at Oceanside Place in Parksville on Sunday.

The Cougars are coming off a three-in-three weekend in which they defeated the Westshore Wolves 9-2 and Saanich Braves 2-1 on Thursday and Friday, then lost in a shootout to the Nanaimo Buccaneers 4-3 in Nanaimo on Saturday.

Cougars coach Mark Van Helvoirt abstained from commenting about the 236 penalty minutes accrued between the Wolves (20-17-1) and Cougars on Thursday, except to say that he was proud how his team held its ground and kept its cool. The Cougars earned 72 penalty minutes to the Wolves’ 142, and scored five powerplay goals.

The Cougars followed it up on Friday and Saturday with a pair of highly skilled games, barely managing to beat the Braves at Pearkes arena on Friday. It was the Braves’ first game with sniper Max Mois back in the lineup since Dec. 14.

“Both teams are still missing key parts but somewhat healthy, and I thought it was how games should be in this league. We really enjoy playing games like that,” Van Helvoirt said.

Braves keeper Tanner McGaw was the busier of the dueling goaltenders, making 31 saves on 33 shots, to Evan Roch’s 20 saves on 21 shots.

“Both stood on their head and it came down to the last couple of minutes,” Van Helvoirt said.

On Saturday, the Buccaneers became the third team this season to deny the Cougars two points, scoring twice in the third period to tie it 3-3. The Bucs won in the shootout on the strength of goalie Riley Medves, who stopped all four Cougars shooters.

“I was somewhat surprised how we reacted in such a close game,” Van Helvoirt said. “It was the last of a three-in-three, so it was a good test, but it seemed that our conditioning was off in the third game.”

Tomorrow night the Braves will be looking for revenge as they meet the Cougars for the seventh of eight meetings this season.

The Cougars visit the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Friday night, while the Braves host the Westshore Wolves.

VIJHL name All-Star squads

Former teammates Travis Oickle and Max Mois will once again suit up on the same team when the two South Division all-stars attend the 2013 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League All-Star Classic in Parksville on Jan. 13.

Mois was traded last month from the Westshore Wolves to the Saanich Braves, and will represent the latter in the All-Star Classic. Oickle, who holds the distinction of having played for the now-defunct former Westshore Stingers, will represent the expansion Wolves.

The South Division rosters were recently announced for both the All-Star game and Prospects games.

Leading the list on the South’s All-Star team is the first-place Victoria Cougars with six players: forwards Brody Coulter, Sam Rice and Mark Walton, defencemen Graham Zagrodney and Jacob Stolz, and goalie Evan Roch. Cougars coach Mark Van Helvoirt will lead the bench.

The Saanich Braves are second with five players, forwards Mois, Ty Jones and Josh Gray, defenceman Garett Kemmler and goalie Tanner McGaw.

Joining Oickle from the Wolves is forward Josh Bloomenthal and defenceman Chris McDonald. Peninsula Panthers players going are forwards Cole Golka and Josh Adkins, and defenceman Cody Breitenstein. Former Panthers star Kyle Peterson leads the trio of Kerry Park Islanders with F Alex Milligan and D Colton Burt.

Full rosters at VIJHL.com.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

A cyclist navigates the shoulder in traffic along Oak Bay Avenue in Victoria. (John Luton Photo)
Oak Bay council supports Fort Street bike lanes

Victoria bike lanes would connect to Cadboro Bay Road

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Victoria police are warning people of a continued rise in cybercrime. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
Victoria police warn of rising cybercrime called spear phishing

Fraudsters continue to trick people out of large sums of money

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Most Read