Kerry Park’s Avery Nielsen-Webb (23) and Victoria’s Mateo Albinati battle for the puck during Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action at Esquimalt’s Archie Browning Sports Centre. The South Division first-place Cougars head over the Malahat tonight to play the Islanders and return home Thursday to play the Peninsula Panthers. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

VIJHL: First-place Cougars chalk up hockey wins over Panthers, Wolves

Victoria hangs on to top spot in the South Division, plays at Kerry Park tonight

Two divisional wins last week left the Victoria Cougars clinging to first place in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s South Division.

The Cougars (19-13-1-1) downed the Peninsula Panthers 2-0 in North Saanich last Friday, one night after beating the Westshore Wolves 3-2 at Archie Browning Sports Centre.

Victoria heads over the Malahat tonight (Jan. 9) to take on the Kerry Park Islanders in Mill Bay, then hosts the Panthers Thursday night (7 p.m.) back on Esquimalt.

On Friday, Cougars goaltender Nate Reinhart made the most of a somewhat rare start, stopping 25 shots in posting the shutout against Peninsula, while Matthew Sparrow and Mateo Albinati provided the goals.

Against the Wolves, Alexander Benger snapped a 2-2 tie with a goal at 8:56 of the third period. Kyle Wade and Ethan Hersant also scored in the win, while Nichola Polomark scored twice for Westshore.

Cougars land scoring forward from Osoyoos

On Monday the club announced it had acquired 19-year-old forward Cameron Welch in a trade with the Osoyoos Coyotes for 18-year-old defenceman Sunil Sahota. Welch, a native of Kelowna, scored 10 goals and had 17 assists in 28 games with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League team this season.

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