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The last place team in the South Division of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey league, the Peninsula Panthers, stunned the regular season champion Campbell River Storm 2-1 on Friday in Game 1 of the post-season. The Panthers won in overtime to shock the Storm faithful at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
With less than half as many regular season wins, the Panthers did the near impossible.
Amazingly, Peninsula kept the Storm off the scoresheet for 59:59 of the 60-minute game, but in that last second, the Storm would tie it up at 1-1, to take the game into overtime. It was a shorthanded goal no less.
Mike Dyck scored from Tyler Chyzowski and Riley Braun, while teammate Scott Rademaker was sitting for two minutes for roughing. the goal momentarily breathed hope into the game for the Storm, but in the end, was not enough. The Panthers shocked the Storm faithful at 9:32 of overtime with the game-winner, which was scored by Josh Lingard. Tanner Wort and Skyler Diamond-Burchuk assisted on the play.
There was no scoring during the first period and the only goal of the second period was scored by Wort. Matthew Sparrow and Braun assisted. And that is how the score remained until Dyck sent the game into overtime.
The Storm outshot the Panthers 49-38.
The Panthers powerplay went ¼, while they stoned the Storm on their four opportunities.
Connor McKillop earned the 48-save win in net for the Panthers, while Aaron de Kok had the rare experience of a home game loss, but did stop 36 shots.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, the Kerry Park Islanders tied their opening round series with the Saanich Braves by winning 4-1 Friday night. The Braves had won, Game 1 by the score of 3-1.
Game 2 is Sunday, March 3 at Panorama Recreation Centre.
In the BCHL, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs played Game 1 of the post-season against the Victoria Grizzlies at The Q Centre. The end result was not pretty, the Grizzlies won by the score of 8-3, led by Alex Newhook with his four assists.
The teams meet again Saturday at The Q Centre in Colwood for Game 2. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm.