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File photo from Game 2. Credit: Christopher Kelsall

The Victoria Cougars took Game 3 of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League final playoff series in Campbell River. They won by the score of 4-0 against the Storm at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena.

The series is about league-bragging rights – both teams will be playing in the provincial championships taking place in Campbell River for the Cyclone Taylor Cup.

Coach Suniel Karod had said after Game 2, “we will have to get on them early; everyone will have to be playing aggressively on the puck tomorrow night,”

The Cougars did just that taking 16 shots in the first period and striking first with a goal at 18:16 by Kevan McBean. Mateo Albinati and Grady Birk assisted on the goal. It would later prove to be the game-winner.

The Storm took Game 1, 4-0 and then the Cougars took Game 2 in Victoria 5-2.

To continue with the momentum, the Cougars got on the board early in the second period with a Matthew Clark goal at just six seconds. Jaden McNulty, Game 2’s hero with a hat-trick and game-winner set up Clark for the 2-0 lead.

Booker Chacalias who led the team in scoring during the regular season and ended up second league-wide was held off the scoresheet for Game 2. The Storm’s effort to hold him in-check didn’t work as it freed up other Cougar players. Friday, he scored on the man advantage at 4:32 from Marshall Brown and Albinati with his second point of the game. Owen Christensen was off for holding.

The Cougars made it 4-0 when Albinati picked up his third point of the game, scoring at 9:54 of the final frame. The goal was set up by Tyler Vanuden and Foster Martin.

Owen Sikkes, who played a very strong Game 2, earned the 31-save shutout win in goal for the Cougars.

Aaron de Kok started in net for the Storm, stopping 18 of 21 shots fired his way. He was replaced after the Chacalias goal by Jaden Little who stopped 16 of 17.

The Cougars powerplay went 1/5 while the Storm were blanked 0/6 on the man advantage.

The teams resume play Sunday at 3:30 pm in Esquimalt’s Archie Browning Arena.