The VIJHL playoffs kicked off on Tuesday with three games.
Peninsula 4 Campbell River 2
The biggest surprise for some came in the 1 vs 8 game. It wasn’t that the 8th seeded Peninsula Panthers doubled the Campbell River Storm 4-2, it was the manner in which they did so.
The Panthers smothered the regular season champions and gave them very little time and space forcing the Storm into costly mistakes.
Josh Lingard opened the scoring late in the first, short-handed, out muscling a defender and walking in on a breakaway. The Storm responded quickly with goals from Damon Porter and Tyler Chyzowski. Those three goals came in a period of just 41 seconds.
The Panthers dominated the second, outshooting and outscoring Campbell River. Alexander Benger and Logan Spiers put the Cats ahead after 40, 3-2.
Hayden Visscher scored the insurance marker late in the 3rd.
Chris Akerman and Matthew Sparrow were standouts.
Saanich 6 Kerry Park 4
Once again the Saanich Braves and Kerry Park Islanders are meeting in the first round.
Saanich opened their playoff account with a 6-3 win on the road.
Kyle Mace notched the hat-trick, getting help along the way from Gavin Grewal with a pair and Reid Lindsay with a single. For the VIJHL’s ironman Grewal, it was his fifth straight multi-point game.
Despite getting outshot by the Isles, 32-22, it was the Braves’ powerplay that did the damage, going 3 for 4.
Kerry Park goals came from Brandon McClintick, Samson McLean and Evan Easton.
Nanaimo 3 Westshore 2 – overtime
Who else but Lucas Patton would be the overtime hero as the Buccaneers edged the Westshore Wolves at the Pirate Ship, 3-2, Tuesday night.
Dylan Devers opened the scoring midway through the first and that 1-0 score line held until early in the third when Andy Westhaver pulled the Wolves even.
Captain Billy Walters regained the Nanaimo lead but with 2:35 left in regulation Cameron Kinsman forced overtime.
Patton scored the winner at 16:20 of overtime on the power play. The Bucs went 2 for 3 on the man advantage.
Westhaver was in on both Westshore goals and Dawson Heathcote had a strong outing and was named a game star.
The Victoria Cougars/Oceanside Generals series begins on Thursday at the Archie Browning Arena in Esquimalt.