Westshore Wolves on a hot streak; Peninsula Panthers earn surprise back-to-back wins

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Over the past two weekends there hasn’t been much in the way of change in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League standings, but there has been movement afoot.

The Westshore Wolves who went 0-5-1 in a stretch through most of November including a 10-4 pasting at the hands of the Saanich Braves on Nov. 18, appear to have found their mojo, taking out the Oceanside Generals 5-3 in Parksville, followed by a 4-3 win over the second place Saanich Braves.

The Braves appear to be hurting without the league’s leading scorer in Nick Guerra.

But then the Wolves defeated the first place Victoria Cougars 5-4 at Archie Browning Arena and then followed up that win with a 3-0 defeat of the Kerry Park Islanders in their building. That is a turnaround of epic proportions.

The Wolves are now 4-0 and sport a record of 10-13-2-1, still not .500 hockey, but certainly they are going in a different direction.

They are getting balanced scoring from the top two lines as well as good performances out of Jordan Guiney, who earned Player of the Week honours for his efforts.

Unlike the Braves, the Cougars bounced back after their loss to the Wolves with a 7-4 drubbing of the Kerry Park Islanders.

An interesting development is the Saanich Braves situation as they lost back-to-back games against the Peninsula Panthers, 4-3 and 3-1 Friday and Saturday night. The last place Panthers have been playing better as of late, but defeating the Braves twice is a surprise.

Last week against the powerful Campbell River Storm, the Panthers outshout the league leaders 35-31, but they couldn’t convert on the powerplay. They were down 2-1 until 6:18 of the second, then the Storm scored twice and that’s all that was needed.

The question remains, have the Panthers really improved and will the Wolves climb out of their sub-.500 record and finally, will the Braves who looked so strong earlier in the year bounce back?

The Braves host the Islanders and the Wolves again this week and the Panthers go back-to-back against the Cougars. Can they defeat them again, twice?

Up north, the Nanaimo Buccaneers continue their renewed play with a stretch going 4-1 including a 10-3 shellacking of the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Dec 1. The hub city dwellers look to pass the Glacier Kings in the standings soon, now just two points behind. They face the Storm on Friday, that will be a major test.

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