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The Peninsula Panthers weren’t going to let a 3-1 lead slip away twice in a row this week as they hosted the Westshore Wolves at the Panorama Recreation Centre, Friday night.

The question wasn’t about the Panthers’ resolve and will to put in a strong effort, but of which Westshore team was going to show up. The Wolves had an impressive six-game win streak to end November and roll into December and defeated several teams that were ahead of them in the standing including the first place Victoria Cougars, second place Saanich Braves and the Comox Valley Glacier Kings who were at the time in second place in the North Division, before being overtaking by Nanaimo.

The Wolves had crushed the Panthers 7-2 on Dec 21st at The Q! Centre in Colwood.

Wednesday night the Panthers earned a 3-1 lead over the visiting Kerry Park Islanders, but let the game get away from them and gave up three unanswered goals to lose 4-3. They must have feared a sense of deja vu, when they got up 3-0 on the Wolves, only to let them get on the board at 3:58 of the second.

The teams traded goals in the third and the game ended 4-2 for the Panthers who earned just their seventh win this season. The Panthers record is now 7-24-0-3, while the Wolves drop to 13-17-2-1 and are hanging onto third place in the South Division, with the Islanders making the season interesting with 24 points and a game in-hand on the Wolves who have 29 points.

Marshall Brown opened the scoring on the powerplay for the Panthers at 6:21 of the first, while Keegan Durrance was off for high sticking. It was the first of two goals on the night for Brown, which earned him first star honours. Duncan Cochrane and Trevor Owens assisted on the play.

Two-minutes and 31 seconds later (8:52) Kai Turner scored the only even strength goal of the game to put the home team up 2-0. Shots after one were 12-4 for the Panthers.

At the 50-second mark of the first, while on the powerplay, Cochrane scored to earn his second point on the night. Shota Yamamoto and Owens assisted.

At 3:58 Brandon Tutte scored a powerplay marker for the Wolves. Joe Gage and Cameron Coutre assisted.

Tutte earned his second goal of the game during the third period; again, on the powerplay four and half-minutes after Brown had put the Panthers up 4-1. Tutte earned the second star nod.

Shots were 27-21 for the Panthers, while the powerplays went 3/8 for the Panthers and 2/7 for the Wolves. All but one goal scored during the game was on the powerplay.

Liam Tutte made 21 saves on 23 shots, earning him third star honours, while Jordan Spandli manned the net for the Wolves.

The Panthers next play against the first place Victoria Cougars Thurs, Jan 5th at Archie Browning Arena, while the Wolves will attempt to redeem themselves Wednesday, when they host the Islanders at The Q! Centre.
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