Victoria Cougars forward Matthew Berryman (20) works the puck in front of Westshore Wolves goalie Jordan Spandli, as defenceman Lukas Yasaki helps out, in game 2 action in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League South Division semifinal at Archie Browning Sports Centre. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Cougars hold upper hand on Westshore in VIJHL South semifinal

Victoria leads series 2-0, games 3 and 4 go tonight and tomorrow

The Victoria Cougars aren’t taking anything for granted as they head into tonight’s (Feb. 24) Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff game in Colwood.

The Cougars took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven South Division semifinal series against the Westshore Wolves on Thursday with a convincing 3-0 victory in Esquimalt.

Patrick Osterman, who made 41 saves to pick up the shutout for the Cats, gave his teammates much of the credit for the win and was already looking ahead to Saturday’s game.

“Just because we’ve had a good start doesn’t mean we can slow down,” he said. “We have to keep pushing, keep playing our game, keep pushing the pace and worry about us, not them.”

Osterman, in his first season with the Wolves, made a number of quality saves Thursday, including a point-blank stop on Marty Westhaver with about five minutes left in the third period.

Victoria once again made the most of their power play opportunities, with Mateo Albinati scoring twice with the man advantage. The Cougars are now five for 10 over the first two games, while the Wolves are zero for 10.

Matthew Sparrow scored a shorthanded empty net goal with 1:23 remaining to round out the scoring for the Cougars.

Victoria head coach Suneil Karod, who previously spoke about gaining the upper hand on the Wolves, appreciated his team’s game 2 effort after the slow start they had to game 1.

He figured the Wolves are going to come out with an even more physical approach Saturday night.

“Getting up two games on these guys is very important. They’re a skilled hockey club and at any time they can make you pay and they almost did,” he said. “If it wasn’t for our goalie [in game 2] it could be a totally different story … at the end of the day we haven’t really done anything yet until we get to that win number four, and we’re just focusing on number 3 at this point.”

Cougars forward Matthew Berryman, who bagged the winner in overtime in Wednesday’s 4-3 victory at The Q Centre, echoed the importance of not letting the early success go their heads.

“Every game, they’re not going to make it easy on us and we have to do everything we can to get another W,” he said.

Added Albinati: “It’s been a war for the first two and I don’t expect much to change for the third one.”

Game time tonight is 6 p.m. at The Q Centre, with game 4 going Sunday at 3:30 p.m. back at Archie Browning Sports Centre.

Just Posted

McClure house fire saw Victoria firefighters utilize drone for first time in live situation

Aerial device feeds intel to crews to help formulate firefighting action plans

Barge bound for benefits

San Juan Community Home Trust and Nickel Bros. give homes new life

UVic announces finalists for Female Athlete of the Year

Rower Caileigh Filmer, swimmer Danielle Hanus, and soccer goalie Puck Louwes are top stand-outs

Jazz songstress Ellen Doty brings her sweet sound to Hermann’s Jazz Club

March 27 concert in Victoria part of national CD release tour

Victoria says #NeverAgain in solidarity with March For Our Lives

Youth Political Commons invites public to rally against gun violence March 24 at legislature

Student learns the ropes at Oak Bay fire in hands-on experience

Local department crafts four-day work experience program for Reynolds student

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Charges formally laid against Nanaimo city manager

City of Nanaimo CAO Tracy Renee Samra charged with fear of injury/damage by another person

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Most Read