© Copyright – 2019 – Victoria Sports News
The 2018-2019 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League regular season is now complete with 48 games played by each team.
As expected, the very experienced and mature Campbell River Storm won the league title with their impressive record of 34-10-3-1. They won the North Division by 25 points over the second-place Nanaimo Buccaneers.
In the South Division, the Victoria Cougars won by 15 points over the late-charging Kerry Park Islanders. Victoria’s record was 28-12-7-1.
The Storm was the only team to score 200 goals or more with their 207. It wasn’t even close. The Cougars and Islanders each tallied 186 times. That was the closest any team got to the Storm’s high-volume output.
They were just as stingy allowing only 92 goals. Again, this was not even close as the next most defensive team, the Cougars, let in 120. So the Storm was the only team to score 200-plus and they were the only team to let in less than 100.
Their winning average was .757. Victoria’s was .688. The Islanders and Buccaneers tied at .583.
The young and inexperienced Comox Valley Glacier Kings had a season that they would like to forget. Their record was 4-42-1-1. The question after a season like that is, does it benefit a team in their development process with a season where nearly every game was a trouncing? We will find out in 2019 and 2020.
The league leader in the regular season points race was Evan Easton with 35 goals and 39 assists. He led the league in scoring and was tied for picking up the second most assists with Nanaimo’s Billy Walters. Only Brandon McClintick earned more assists with 48. Easton’s 74 points was five more than Booker Chacalias with the Cougars. He scored 34 times and picked up 35 assists. Easton played 47 of 48 games, while Chacalias played 44. They both had a 1.6 points per game average. The question will always hang, would Chacalias have taken the points race if he played 48 games?
Kevan McBean with the Cougars was the highest point-getting defender landing in 25th spot overall with 10 goals and 24 assists. Twenty-seventh was Chase O’Keefe with the Westshore Wolves. He scored seven times and added 26 assists.
It is likely no surprise that the two leading goaltender stats come from two Campbell River Storm netminders. Aaron de Kock led the league with a 24-4-0 record and a 1.89 goals against average. He also played the most minutes of all goaltenders at 1713 taking 846 shots in the process. If he doesn’t have Post-Traumatic Shot Disorder it is because his save percentage was an impressive .936.
In Backup Jaden Little with a 10-5-0 record was solid. His GAA was 1.91, while his SP was .920 – they were the only two goaltenders with GAAs below 2.00.
The top goaltender in the league not from the Campbell River Storm was Cam Stevenson of the Victoria Cougars. He sports a record of 18-5-0. His GAA was 2.28 and SP at .920.
To close out the regular season, the Storm shutout the Buccaneers 2-0 on Thursday, the Islanders raised a few eyebrows with a doubling up of the Cougars 6-3, while the Panthers defeated the Wolves 4-3.
During the final weekend of regular season player the Braves ended their very up and rollercoaster season with a 3-1 win over the Oceanside Generals. The Buccaneers exacted revenge twice in two days Saturday they defeated the Glacier Kings 5-1, then Sunday, they took out the Panther 5-0 – a great way to head into the playoffs with two strong road wins.
The Wolves turned some heads when they went into Rod Brind’Amour Arena and took out the league-leaders 3-2. With nothing left to play for except stats, perhaps both the Cougars and Storm rested key people. With the Storm’s balanced scoring throughout the lineup, the Wolves win was still impressive.
Post-season begins Tuesday.
#1 Campbell River Storm host the #8 Peninsula Panthers
This series should be a Storm sweep. Third straight first-round post-season matchup.
#3 Nanaimo Buccaneers host #6 Westshore Wolves.
Edge and a nod toward Nanaimo, but Westshore is unpredictable.
#4 Kerry Park Islanders hosts #5 Saanich Braves.
The Braves have the manpower to make it happen, but like the Wolves, they have been unpredictable after their 10-0-1-1 start. Kerry Park has come on strong in the late going. Does Kerry Park have momentum? It looks like, but this could be a very close series.
#2 Victoria Cougars host the #7 Oceanside Generals
The Generals may take a game at home in Parksville.
All league information and schedules are avialable here: http://www.vijhl.com/leagues/front_pageVIJHL.cfm?clientid=3467&leagueid=16189