2022-2023 VIJHL Playoff Recap Week 1

By Blake Moon

The VIJHL playoffs kicked off this past week with 13 combined games being played over the
four first round series! Hopefully you were able to catch some of the action live, but if not, here
is a breakdown on all the games you missed during the first week of this year’s VIJHL playoffs!

Oceanside Generals (N1) vs Port Alberni Bombers (N4)
After the first three games in this exciting series, the Generals find themselves in possession of a
hefty 3-0 series lead. The Generals have had a firm grip on the series as they hold an
impressive goal differential of 15 goals for and only 5 against. After three contests the Generals
leading scorer is Brady Van Herk who has amassed 7 points in 3 games including 4 power play
assists. The Bombers find themselves in a do-or-die scenario come game 4; which will almost
certainly result in a feisty matchup. The Bombers are going to be leaning on their playoff sniper
Chase Pacheco to give them their best shot at what would be an improbable but amazing
comeback. The Bombers have been steadily improving as the series has gone on, holding the
Generals to just 3 goals in game 3, which is a massive improvement from game 1, in which the
Bombers allowed the Generals to explode for 8 goals. Game 4 takes place on Monday, March
6th, tune in to see if the Bombers improvement can push them off the brink of elimination, or if
the Generals find a way to push through and grab the first series win of the 2023 VIJHL playoffs!

Campbell River Storm (N2) vs Comox Valley Glacier Kings (N3)
The Storm came into this series with three statement wins gaining a quick 3-0 series lead;
however, the Glacier Kings stopped the bleeding in game 4 with a statement win of their own,
beating the Storm 4-1 to bring the series to 3-1. This series has been incredibly tight despite the
scores all being so lopsided in each game, with the goal differential sitting at 13-8 in favor of the
Storm. A standout stat from this series comes from Storm goalie Nick Peters who currently
holds the best save percentage among all goalies in the playoffs with a .946% in 4 games. If the
Kings are going to survive this matchup, they are going to have to find a way to solve Peters.
Look for Comox’s leading scorer Alex Bend to take control in game 5 to help his club stay in the
2023 playoff picture! Game 5 in this up and down series takes place on Tuesday, March 7th!

Victoria Cougars (S1) vs Kerry Park Islanders (S4)
The Islanders have been the most surprising team in the VIJHL playoff thus far, as they entered
the big dance with a negative record, but they have given the heavily favored Cougars a run for
their money here in round one. The Cougars took game 1 from the Islanders, but the Islanders
responded with a win of their own in game 2. Game 3 was a grind for both squads that could
have gone either way as it required overtime to decide a winner; the Cougars ultimately took the
game by a score of 5-4 and thus own a 2-1 series lead. Both teams have been surviving off their
high flying offense with no game being decided by a margin of smaller than 2 goals so far in this
series, and a total of 22 goals scored in 3 games. The team who emerges from this matchup will
most likely have their goalies to thank, so don’t be surprised if we see some massive
performances from Eric Young, the backstop for the Islanders, as well as from Ashton
Billesberger and Jesse Pye for the Cougars, as these three netminders do their best to help
their team win this run and gun battle! These two teams meet up for game 4 on Tuesday, March

Saanich Predators (S2) vs Peninsula Panthers (S3)
Every single second of this series has been exhilarating with all three games having the same
score of 3-2. Game 1 in this series needed overtime to award a win which was eventually
earned by the Panthers in the second overtime frame. Game 2 was taken by Saanich to knot
the series at 1 game a piece, that was until game 3 when the Panthers regained their series
lead making this a 2-1 series in their favor. As the scores have proved, this series has been
incredibly close, with the games being decided by only a single goal. It is obvious that the team
who can limit their mistakes will emerge victorious in this razor thin series. The goal differential
is only separated by a single goal with the Panthers owning a +1 and the Predators owning a -1.
This series could go either way and I think it is safe to say that nobody will be shocked if this
series goes the distance and is decided in dramatic fashion in a game 7 barn burner! These two
evenly matched opponents meet up for what I'm sure will be an epic game 4 on Monday, March

The VIJHL playoff action continues this week so make sure to head on down to your local arena
to support your squad as they continue their quest for postseason glory! Also keep it locked on
to VIJHL.com to make sure you don’t miss a second of the action from around the league!