Braves slay Panthers in first game of series

Peninsula Panthers lose 7-2 against Saanich Braves in Game 1 of second series in VIJHL playoffs

Peninsula player Josh Bloomenthal powers down the ice in the Panthers' 7-2 loss to the Saanich Braves Monday

The Panthers fell behind early and stayed there Monday night in Saanich.

The local junior B hockey club lost the first game of the round two Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Playoffs 7-2 to the Saanich Braves Monday night (March 5).

“We came out in the firs period and we played a really great firs period. We had a couple bad bounces and the game just seemed to get away from us,” said team owner Pete Zubersky.

The Braves amassed a three-goal lead before Joe Densmore notched the first goal for the Panthers on a powerplay goal five minutes into the second frame. Unfortunately the Saanich team scored two more before the period was out and added two more in the third before Peninsula wrapped scoring with a second power play goal from Dane Gibson with just over three minutes left in the game.

“We’re going to have to have a lot of intensity in game two and as the series moves on,” Zubersky said. “We’ve got our hands full but we believe that we can come out on top.”

Both Stephen Heslop and Kylar Stern took some time between the pipes for the Panthers facing 33 shots altogether. The Cats put 30 pucks on the Braves’ net.

Game 2 of the series is tonight, March 7 at Pearkes arena in Saanich. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

The series comes to the Peninsula Friday, March 9 with a 7:30 p.m. game at Panorama Recreation Centre.

Game 4 is Monday, March 12, also at Panorama.

If necessary, Game 5 will be March 14 at Pearkes; Game 6 at Panorama; and Game 7 at Pearkes.

In the other semi-final series of the VIJHL the Victoria Cougars battle the Kerry Park Islanders. Victoria leads that series 1-0 with a game tonight (March 6) in Kerry Park.

For more on the game and a full schedule of round two, click here.

The Panthers moved ahead to round two of the playoffs after defeating the Oceanside Generals four games to two in round one.

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