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Too bad the Westshore Wolves were not able to play as well as they did on Wednesday and Thursday, all season long. They took the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League-leading Campbell River Storm into a shootout  at Rod Brind’Amour Arena and then defeated the Nanaimo Buccaneers the next night. Both scores were 3-2 and on the road.

With a record of 16-20-3-6 and sitting in fourth place out of five teams in the South Division it’s a little late. Ending a season on a high note has value though and with three games remaining they can finish off the year positively and plan for a strong campaign next season.

It’s rare for a team to outshoot the Storm, but the Wolves managed to take 32 shots at goaltender Aaron de Kok, while allowing just 30 against. Both goaltenders earned the stars in the two-star selection process of the VIJHL (Home and Away stars).

The Wolves’ Keegan Durrance opened the scoring at 8:52 from Parker Ellis. The Storm got one back at 12:25 on the powerplay from Darren Hards. Kahil Fontana was off for Slashing. Owen Christensen earned the only assist on the play. The first period would end 1-1.

The Wolves scored the only goal of the second period at 18:51, while on the powerplay. Connor Eddy combined with Zach Whittaker on the play. Noah Fladagar was off for Cross-Checking.

Campbell River scored the only goal of the third period when Tyler Chyzowski tied the game at 2:05 from Owen Christensen.

Overtime would settle nothing.

Both Wolves Huber Gruben and Jake Veilleux missed during the shootout, while both Pearce Messer and Hards would score to take the three points and the win. The Wolves earned a single point for their efforts.

The Storm powerplay went 1/7, while the Wolves scored once on their seven opportunities.

In Nanaimo

The Wolves playing the next best team in the North Division, the next night, won in regulation time.

Jarrett Malloch would score the winner at 3:03 of the third period. Chase O’Keefe and Connor Eddy would earn assists on the goal.

Blake Bentham, younger brother to Noel Bentham, a Victoria Royals draft pick opened the scoring at 18:34 of the first period from Keegan Durrance.

During the middle frame, Nanaimo would score their two goals at 12:19 and 14:18 while shorthanded. Aiden Sutherland and Lucas Patton would score; Billy Walters and Dawson Heathcote would earn assists on both goals.

Heathcote is a 19-year-old Nanaimo native is in his third season with the Buccaneers. He has played just 16 games so far this season. He is on pace with a 1.3 points per game average. During 47 games last season he earned 54 points, 21 of those were goals.

The Wolves outshot the Buccaneers 28-26.

The powerplays went 0/3 and 0/1 for the Wolves and Buccaneers respectively.

Jordan Spandli earned the win in net for the Wolves, while Blake Wood would take the loss in net for Nanaimo.

The Wolves don’t play again until Wednesday, Feb. 20 when they host the Victoria Cougars at The Q Centre in Colwood.

Friday, the Kerry Park Islanders visit the Peninsula Panthers. Saturday there are three games with the Buccaneers visiting the Oceanside Generals, The Cougars visit the Comox Valley Glacier Kings and the Panther and Islanders tussle in the second of a home-and-home set in Kerry Park. All games start at 7:30 pm, except for the Buccaneers and Generals going at 7:00 pm.

NORTH DIVISION
TEAM GP W L T TP
Storm 45 32 9 0 103
Buccaneers 43 23 16 0 75
Generals 44 16 23 0 56
Glacier Kings 43 4 37 0 15
VIEW FULL STANDINGS »
SOUTH DIVISION
TEAM GP W L T TP
Cougars 45 26 11 0 93
Islanders 45 21 15 0 75
Braves 45 18 17 0 68
Wolves 45 16 20 0 60
Panthers 43 13 21 0 52
VIEW FULL STANDINGS »
SCORING LEADERS
PLAYER GP G A PTS
E. Easton (KPI) 44 27 36 63
B. Chacalias (VIC) 41 29 32 61
B. Walters (NAN) 42 16 36 52
B. McClintick (KPI) 40 11 41 52
M. Albinati (VIC) 35 25 26 51
VIEW FULL LIST »
GOALIE LEADERS
GOALIE GP W GAA SV%
J Little (CRS) 14 9 1.87 .916
A de Kok (CRS) 29 23 1.96 .933
C Stevenson (VIC) 24 18 2.12 .925
O Sikkes (VIC) 19 13 2.35 .925
B Wood (NAN) 14 8 2.37 .908
VIEW FULL LIST »

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