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Two upsets took place in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs Sunday. In North Saanich, the young, Peninsula Panthers defeated the Campbell River Storm and at The Q Centre in Colwood, the Westshore Wolves defeated the Victoria Cougars for the second game in a row.

For the Panthers, first star Connor McKillop backstopped the team to the win by way of making 36 saves from 38 Storm shots. The Panthers managed to fire just 22 pucks at goaltender Liam Murphy but made the most of their opportunities.

“In Game 2 we had 10 players and 10 passengers. To beat Campbell River you need all 20 guys playing and we got closer that number this afternoon,” shared Panthers’ coach Brad Tippett. “We got excellent goaltending, our defence forced them early and outside and our forwards capitalized on some chances. Saying that, I thought most importantly we played relentlessly for each other today. Blocked shots and taking checks to make plays. There was a resolve not to let your teammate down that wasn’t there in game 2.”

Seventeen-year-old Trevor Wort opened the scoring for the Panthers at 17:21 of the first. His goal was set up by Josh Lingard and Thomas Spink. Thirty-one seconds later Gold River’s Cody Savey – just 16-years-old – scored to tie the game at 1-1.

The only goal scored during the second period was the only powerplay marker of the game, which came at 10:59 from Lingard, assisted by Marshall Brown.

In a numerical coincidence, at 17:52 of the third period, Reid Wheeldon scored an unassisted marker. Fifty-six seconds later Gavin Yee scored the game-winner from Shota Yamamoto and Marshall Brown.

The Panthers went 1/6 on the man advantage, while the Storm was held goalless on their two powerplay opportunities.

The Storm lead the series 2-1.

The Wolves and Cougars are now tied at two apiece in their best-of-seven series, which has come down to a best-of-3.

Westshore knotted the series at two games apiece on Sunday afternoon following its 5-2 win at Archie Browning Sports Centre.

Fresh off his one-game suspension he received back in Game 1, Cameron Coutre returned with a vengeance.  The VIJHL leading scorer during the regular season chipped in with two assists and had multiple scoring chances.

It was a rough and tumble affair.

Unlike the Storm, the Wolves had better luck with their barrage of shots. They took a total of 42 on Nate Reinhart and Patrick Ostermann – Ostermann played a total of 10:45.

The Wolves scored all three goals during the first period, Brandon Tutte, Trevor Bottomley and Keiran Cardinal scored once each in a span of 12:50. Tomba Huddlestan and Coutre picked up a pair of assists each in the opening frame. Westshore attacked hard and took 16 first period shots.

Asked about the keys to the win, Coach Tyler Matheson said, “getting pucks to the net, playing smart defensively and keeping our lines fresh.”

Nineteen-year-old Prince George native Mateo Albinati scored the only goal of the second period, which was a powerplay marker at 15:08, to get the Cougars on the board. The goal was set up by future Victoria Grizzlies player Darwin Lakoduk and Matthew Sparrow.

Lakoduk tried to make a game of it by scoring at 3:52, again on the powerplay. The goal was assisted by Kyle Wade and Albinati, who earned first star honours.

At 6:58 Lukas Yesaki scored for the Wolves. Keegan Durrance picked up the only assist on the play.

With the goaltender pulled Calijah Phillips scored into the empty net at 19:30 to salt the game away for the Wolves.

Jordan Spandli faced 22 shots in net for the Wolves. Both teams went 2/9 on the man advantage.

Game 5 goes Wednesday, February 28.  Game time at The Q Centre, located at 1767 Old Island Highway, is 7:00 p.m.

The Storm and Panthers renew acquaintances on Monday at 7:30 pm at Panorama Recreation Centre.