The Panthers’ trio of #25 Carson Cox (rght, out of frame), #15 Matt Lawrence and #77 Marshall Brown battle for a loose puck on Friday night in a game against the Bucs. (Gordon Lee Photography)

Panthers clawing for favourable playoff spot

NORTH SAANICH — The Peninsula Panthers have owned the Westshore Wolves this season, defeating them in five of the six games the two teams have played. But tonight (Wed., Feb. 7) and then again on Friday, the two clubs will meet in what is clearly the biggest week in this regular season.

The “Cats” played to solid games this past weekend but had nothing to show for it after being downed 4-1 by the VIJHL-leading Nanaimo Buccaneers on Friday night and 4-2 in Kerry Park against the Islanders the following evening.

The youthful squad did everything but win those games, outshooting the Bucs 41-26 and the Islanders 38-24, and dominated every single aspect of both games except where it really counts — on the scoreboard.

On Friday night, Josh Lingard was the sole marksman while on Saturday Tanner Wort and Riley Braun chipped in with singles. Goaltender Bryce Schiebel took both losses between the pipes.

Coach Brad Tippett was perhaps the most surprised that a win or two was not in the making.

“I would not have believed anyone who told me we would get zero points after firing 79 shots and giving up only 50 in the two games. We need to pick up wins against the Wolves, no doubt about it.”

The Panthers have five games remaining in the season and are chasing the Wolves for a favourable playoff seat as they approach the post-season. The Wolves also have five games remaining and currently hold a three point cushion as the two teams get ready to play the home-and-home series this week.

“We have matched up really well against the Wolves this season,” said GM Pete Zubersky. “Schiebel won a 2-1 game for us early in the season series but we were full value for the other four wins.

“We need two wins this week. Both teams should come out firing on all cylinders and I would guess there will be a couple great games. Our destiny is in our own hands and if we can beat them a couple of times, we will still have some work left in the remaining three games.”

After hosting the Wolves on Friday night, the Club will welcome in the visiting Victoria Cougars to the friendly confines of the Panorama Recreation Centre on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m., the Family Day holiday in B.C.

— News Staff

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