Peter Kung/Christopher Kelsall
For the Victoria Cougars on Sunday, it was an uphill battle from the get-go.
With only 15 skaters, three short of the minimum required, the Cougars overcame a short bench to pull off a 3-1 win against the Kerry Park Islanders on Sunday afternoon.
Kyle Wade scored twice for Victoria who moved into sole possession of second place in the South Division.
The Cougars led 2-0 after one period and 2-1 after two.
Just shortly after Wade gave Victoria a two-goal cushion, Matthew Sparrow received a penalty for high-sticking with 67 seconds remaining in the third period.
Kerry Park pulled J.J. Pichette for an extra attacker making it a six-on-four but Brandon McClintick negated the power play when he was sent off for cross-checking 36 seconds later.
Darwin Lakoduk opened the scoring just over two minutes in after he banged home an Alexander Benger rebound for his team-leading 10th goal.
Then at 15:14, Wade beat Pichette stick side to make it a two-goal game.
Brandon Wilson cut the deficit in half with a solo effort at 9:08 for the only goal of the second period.
But Wade’s second goal of the game would prove to be the difference maker. With just over two minutes remaining in regulation, Wade scored with Pichette sprawled on the ice.
Shots on goal favoured Victoria, 34-31.
Patrick Ostermann made several key saves late in the game to preserve the victory.
The Cougars went 0-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mateo Albinati, a natural forward, was moved to defense for the game and Tyler Magnuson was called up for the first time this season.
Elsewhere Saturday, the Saanich Braves defeated the Oceanside Generals in Parksville by the score of 7-3. Four different Braves earned two points each on the night, to spread the scoring around. There were six different goals scoring only Oliver Hahn notched two.
The Peninsula Panthers visited the Kerry Park Islanders and lost by the score of 6-5. The Islanders took a whopping 53 shots at goaltender Chris Ackerman, while the Panthers managed 37.
The next Greater Victoria area game is Wednesday when the Westshore Wolves take on the visiting Saanich Braves. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Next game for Victoria is Thursday versus the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
There are currently three teams with 17 points each in the South Division, the Panthers, Islanders, and Braves, while the Cougars have 18 points. The Wolves’ first-place position is not safe at 21 points, with the Cougars having three games in hand and the Panthers with two.
The North Division standings are vastly different, however, the seemingly invincible Nanaimo Bucaneers did lose a couple of games recently, so there lead doesn’t look quite as impressive. In fact the perennially-strong Campbell River Storm are now within one point.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME from the Cougars and Islanders game:
1st star, Kyle Wade (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2nd star, Joe Leakey (Goals: 0, Assists: 0)
3rd star, Patrick Ostermann (Saves: 30, Save Percentage: .968)