Although the Panthers are just a game over .500 heading into the home stretch run in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League schedule, there is much to be optimistic about as the squad faces the Victoria Cougars tonight (Jan. 6).
“We want to develop players, win games, and get our organization back to where people sense it is part of the community once again, and we feel like all those things have begun to take shape already,” co-owner Pete Zubersky said of the team’s goals heading into tonight’s tilt against the Panthers’ arch rival. “We have some really exciting kids with great futures. Dane Gibson is a 17-year-old Peninsula Minor Hockey product that I believe has been missed in the shuffle. I see him really turning it up for the club moving forward from here. I have been on the blower to a couple BCHL teams already and want to see him playing games at the next level.
“Sometimes kids get missed for a variety of reasons; I don’t want Dane or any of our players to fall through the cracks.”
The organization has been working with sponsors and minor hockey as well. “We usually start our sponsorship drive right after the New Year and we are hoping for the kind of support we had several years ago. We also want to continue getting more involved with minor hockey and are planning something very special for our final league game on Feb. 17.”
But for now the Panthers have their sights on one target: the league-leading Cougars. Tonight will mark yet another cat fight as the two teams battle to position themselves for the playoffs.
The game against the Cougars starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Panorama Recreation Centre.