© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News
According to superstition if you are three times a bride’s maid, you are never a bride. During the past five years the Victoria Cougars Junior B team who play in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League have been favoured to win at least three of those years. This year they iced perhaps the best team of them all and lost out in the final, to earn silver. Not what they played for, especially on home ice at Archie Brownie Centre in Esquimalt.
Ryan Friesen of the 100 Mile House Wranglers scored with just 54.3 seconds remaining to lift the Wranglers over the Cougars by a score of 5-4.
The Cougars earlier had battled back after being down by the score of 3-1 to take a 4-3 lead, the Cougars gave up the tying goal at 14:02 of the third. Wranglers’ Brett Harris grabbed the puck on a giveaway to tie the game.
Victoria appeared to score the 5-4 go-ahead goal during the third period, but it was disallowed as the ref had his arm in the air calling a Jordan Passmore hit to the head penalty.
The ensuing power play gave the Wranglers the opportunity they needed to win the Cyclone Taylor Cup and they did.
Zane Stevens, the Wranglers goalie was named tournament MVP.
Game Stars were from the Wranglers Brett Harris and from the Cougars Dom Kolbeins.
In the other final game the Campbell River storm, rolled over the Mission City Outlaws 8-4 for bronze.
Seven times an island team has won the Cyclone Taylor Cup during the 49 years that it has been contested, starting in the 1966-1967 season. The Campbell River Storm are defending champions and the only island team to win the cup twice, in 2014-2015 and 1998-1999. The Victoria Cougars won the cup in 2006-2007 season, while the Saanich Braves took home the trophy during the 1975-1976 season.
The Comox Cubs were the very first winners. The year the Cougars won, they were coached by Craig Didmon, the current coach of the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCJHL who play Junior A.
The Victoria Cougars (41-5-1-84) and the Campbell River Storm (38-6-2-80) dominated the VIJHL, each winning their divisions. The Wranglers’ record in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is 33-12-3-4-73.