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Guerra
League leader Nick Guerra of the Saanich Braves, getting a look from Cougars goaltender Anthony Ciurro as he departs the crease. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright  – 2016 – Victoria Sports News

While the Victoria Royals and the Victoria Grizzlies take their respective holiday breaks, there are still four Junior B teams that will be playing in Victoria-area and Island rinks.

The Westshore Wolves, Saanich Braves, Peninsula Panthers and Victoria Cougars of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) will be playing throughout December.

The Grizzlies, Victoria’s Junior A team that play out of The Q Centre in Colwood played their last game before the holiday break Dec. 18 in their 6-2 win over the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings. Although they return to action on Dec. 30, they don’t play at home again until Jan. 12, when they host Nanaimo.

Their extended road trip will see them play in Courtenay, Nanaimo, Langley, Wenatchee and Surrey before they return home.

The Grizzlies occupy first place in the Island Division with 53 points in 36 games, while sporting a record of 23-6-3-4. There are only two teams ahead of the Grizzlies in the league standings, the Wenatchee Wild who are in first place in the Mainland Division with 58 points in 35 games, while the Penticton Vees have earned 57 points in 35 games to lead the Interior Division.

The Victoria Grizzlies are coming off a heart-breaker, near come-from-behind, overtime loss to the Vancouver Giants at home Sat, Dec 17. Their holiday break is over Dec. 27th with two games, back-to-back at Save on Foods Memorial Centre when they host the first place Prince George Cougars.

The Cougars occupy first in the entire league with a record of 26-8-2-0 for 54 points in 36 games played.

The Royals have earned 38 points in 36 games with a record of 17-15-4 and occupy the first wildcard spot. So far this season they haven’t played to the standard that they did during the 2015-2016 season, they appear to be a team they simply hasn’t found consistency but do have the capability to perform much better. The Royals have injuries to key players including defencemen Ralph Jarratt and sharpshooter Tyler Soy. The Cougars will be a test for the Royals, who seem to rise to big games this season.

However, during the holidays, there is exciting Junior B action happening around town including several games during the holidays for example the Westshore Wolves visiting Pearkes Arena to take on the Saanich Braves on Dec 23 at 6:30 PM. This is a good time to take a break from the holiday shopping to check out exciting Junior B hockey action.

The Wolves, who are in need of wins have an opportunity to earn two, much-needed points on Dec. 21st when they host the Peninsula Panthers at The Q Centre in Colwood.

Full schedule is available at www.vijhl.com