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The Westshore Wolves might have thought that they had the game in the bag Friday night against the Saanich Braves at Pearkes Arena – not so!

The visitors took a 3-0 lead into the third period and lost it.

The Wolves scored first with two goals less than a minute apart during the opening frame. Jarrett Malloch and Connor Eddy scored at 18:33 and 19:27 respectively.

The second period turned into a chess match, but again, late in the period the Wolves found paydirt with Andy Westhaver scoring at 19:56.

It is said that the 3-1 lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey, well 3-0 proved to be near fatal.

Malloch took a two-minute minor for kneeing and on that powerplay veteran, Dale McCabe scored at 6:04. Forty-eight seconds later Ryan Strange scored – game on!

At 8:36 McCabe tied the score to send the game to overtime. McCabe earned Player of the Game (home) for his efforts, but it was Keegan Durrance, the visiting Player of the Game who scored from Malloch at 53 seconds of overtime.

The winning team earns three points, while the overtime losers collect, just one.

With the single point from the overtime loss, the Braves are tied with the Kerry Park Islanders in the standing with 60 points, but have played an extra game.

They sit just three points behind the Peninsula Panthers and are in last place in the South Division. The Panthers also won Friday, taking out the first place Cougars 6-4.

The Wolves outshot the Braves 38-33. The powerplays went 0/3 and 1/6 respectively.

Jordan Spandli earned the win net with his 30-save performance, while Connor Cheyne took the 34-save loss for the Braves.

The Wolves next play Saturday in Courtenay against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.

Panthers – Cougars

The Panthers pounced on the Cougars early and managed to defeat the South Division-leading Cougars on the strength of a Matthew Sparrow hat-trick.

The 6’2” 19-year-old Sherwood Park, AB native scored both goals of the first period at 14:07 on the powerplay and 16:40; Riley Braun earned assists on both goals. Tyler Vanuden was sitting for two minutes for goaltender interference.

The Cougars would finally get on the board at 15:45 of the second period. Vanuden would vindicate himself and score from Booker Chacalias and Cameron LeSergent.

With 24 seconds remaining in the second period Braun and Sparrow would combine to earn their third point of the game each with Braun tallying and Sparrow earning an assist as did Thomas Spink.

At 45 seconds of the third period, while on the powerplay, Sparrow would complete the hat-trick.

Logan Speirs and Braun with his second goal into the empty net would also score for the Wolves while Matthew Clark, Vanuden with his second of the game and LeSergent would try to complete the comeback, but to no avail.

The Cougars outshot the Wolves 32-27. The powerplays went 0/5 for the Cougars and 2/5 for the Wolves.

Cam Stevenson would take the loss in net for the Cougars, while Chris Ackerman and Connor McKillop would split duties, McKillop getting credited with the win playing the latter 26:53 of the game.

Elsewhere in the VIJHL, the league-leading Campbell River Storm had their hands full with the Nanaimo Buccaneers; barely winning 3-2 and the Oceanside Generals defeated the Kerry Park Islanders 3-1 in Parksville.

NORTH DIVISION
TEAM GP W L T TP
Storm 36 25 8 0 80
Buccaneers 32 19 11 0 60
Generals 38 13 21 0 46
Glacier Kings 36 4 30 0 15
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SOUTH DIVISION
TEAM GP W L T TP
Cougars 37 23 10 0 76
Islanders 36 18 13 0 60
Braves 37 16 13 0 60
Panthers 37 11 17 0 46
Wolves 35 11 17 0 43
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SCORING LEADERS
PLAYER GP G A PTS
B. Chacalias (VIC) 33 21 26 47
E. Easton (KPI) 35 20 25 45
J. Lingard (PEN) 36 21 19 40
I. Leik (KPI) 35 18 21 39
B. Walters (NAN) 32 12 27 39
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GOALIE LEADERS
GOALIE GP W GAA SV%
B Wood (INACT) 6 5 1.34 .938
O Sikkes (VIC) 13 9 1.78 .943
E Samyn (CRS) 5 2 1.82 .909
J Little (CRS) 11 7 1.99 .915
A de Kok (CRS) 23 17 2.10 .929
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