Saanich Predators vs Victoria Cougars Feb 10, 2023

By Blake Moon

The Saanich Predators and the Victoria Cougars clashed in yet another amazing VIJHL matchup on Friday night at George Pearkes Arena! The Preds entered the contest with a record of 25-9-8 hoping to keep the momentum going into playoffs as they went 8-2 in the 10 games prior to Friday’s match up. The Cougars on the other hand sat one spot above the Predators in the South division with a record of 32-10-1 when they rolled into town; however, they too were holding onto a 8-2 record in their past 10 games meaning that only one of those teams would be leaving the matchup with an impressive 9-2 record in their past 11 games. And with playoffs a mere two weeks away, neither team was looking to succumb to the other, making this clash of the South division titans one for the ages!

First Period
This game started like most VIJHL games do, with both teams laying the body early in order to establish the tone for the remainder of the game. However, Saanich’s Colten Thompson decided to up the ante by attempting a “Michigan,” or lacrosse style goal in the first few minutes of the game. While the attempt was unsuccessful, it did give the game an element of excitement that proved to be beneficial for the Preds. For both teams, the vast majority of the first period was back and forth in terms of offensive possession, however, neither team had any particularly dangerous opportunities. Which was not due to a lack of offensive firepower from either squad, but from the two defensive groups that could only be described as stingy. Both teams’ D-corps did an excellent job of driving the opponent’s offense to the outside, making it difficult for either team to generate any lethal scoring chances. Both teams had a single opportunity on the man advantage, but both of them ended the same way roughly 83% of the league’s power plays do, with no goals scored. While both teams’ power plays moved the puck well and made good decisions in the offensive zone, neither club was able to solve the other’s penalty kill. Just when it looked like this period was going to end in a scoreless tie, Colten Thompson finally found a way to squeak one past Victoria’s Jesse Pye, who had an otherwise stellar first period performance. Even the lone goal in the first period was scored off a not particularly dangerous chance, but rather a good shot that was initially stopped by Pye, only for the puck to take an awkward bounce off of Pye’s stick to land in the back of the net. The Predators goal was assisted by Gaetz Barrie, and William Jenkins, who worked hard to demolish the stalemate, and allow the Preds to take a 1-0 lead into the second period.

Second Period
The second period exploded out of the gate with a quick shift from the Cougars earning them a shot on goal and an offensive faceoff. However, said faceoff resulted in the Cougars winning the draw back to their defensemen who fired a shot on goal; which unfortunately for the Cougars, was blocked by Predators forward Thomas Jenkins sending the puck out of the zone effectively springing Jack Westhaver in on a breakaway where he made no mistake, slipping the puck five hole on Pye putting the Preds up by a pair of goals early in the second. The Cougars tried to get one back not long after the lead doubling tally, but Predators tendy Jaden Vanderlee was up for the task shutting down the Cougars best chance of the game up to that point. About midway through the second frame, the Cougars had some consecutive offensive zone time in which they converted their first goal of the game thanks to a wicked cross-zone saucer pass courtesy of Ryan Comisky. Which was immediately one-timed past Vanderlee by Ethan Roworth, getting the Cougars on the board making it a 2-1 game. With less than 10 minutes remaining in the middle period, the Cougars took a hit to the head penalty resulting in a game misconduct and a five minute major penalty, giving the Preds a potentially game ending opportunity. However, it was the Cougars who ended up capitalizing during this time, as only 7 seconds into the penalty, the Preds coughed up the puck to Ethan Roworth, resulting in a Cougars breakaway. Except before Roworth had a chance to shoot, he was slashed off the puck, sending him to center ice for a penalty shot. Roworth walked in making multiple moves, eventually sniping his second goal of the game going low blocker side on Vanderlee, once again deadlocking the game, this time at two goals a piece. The Cougars escaped the 5 minute major with a goal for, and no goals against as the second period came to a close with the score clock reading 2-2, making for an exciting winner-take-all third period.

Third Period
The third period tore the roof off of this already pressurized game as the Preds defenseman Taylor Webb wired home a wrister past a screened Pye in order to re-establish the Preds lead only 32 seconds into the third. The Cougars put themselves behind the eight ball shortly after, heading back to the PK following a slashing call. Pye had to be sharp in order to keep this team only behind by a single goal, and once again he was up to the challenge stopping everything the Predators could throw at him. Halfway through the period, it was clear that neither team was comfortable calling this game just yet as the Predators kept their foot on the gas, while the Cougars continued to – pun very much intended – claw their way back into this game. As the clock continued to wind down in the final frame, both the Cougars and the Predators exchanged rushes, yet neither team was able to solve the other’s defense. The vast majority of both teams’ offensive possessions were directed away from the net, essentially negating any chance of this game seeing another goal. Until the Preds took a 4 minute slashing/unsportsmanlike penalty giving the Cougars a golden chance to tie this game up. The Cougars pulled the goalie giving them a 6 on 4 advantage with an offensive zone face off. The clock was against the Cougars with only a minute and forty six seconds left on the clock. The Cougars pushed the Predators to their breaking point looking for the chance to go to overtime, however, the Predators managed to cling to their lead taking the win at home!

Final score: Saanich Predators 3 – Victoria Cougars 2

Final Thoughts
This game had the intensity of a playoff game with both teams playing good enough to earn the win; although it was the Predators’ strong offensive game that put them over the top in this one. With only 5 combined goals between the two clubs it is easy to categorize this game as a defensive battle. Both teams displayed amazing defensive efforts with all 12 defenseman from both organizations playing a tight game. But as good as all the blue-liners played on Friday night, the real stars were the netminders. Jaden Vanderlee earned the W playing strong when he had to, giving his team the confidence they needed to win. Vanderlee made some massive stops on the way to a 35 save performance and can’t really be blamed for the two goals against him as one of them was a one timer tap in, and the other was a penalty shot. His counterpart, Jesse Pye, was lights out for the Cougars despite being stuck with an L on Friday night. Much like Vanderlee, it is hard to fault Pye on any of the three goals scored against him as the first goal was an unlucky bounce on his initial save, the second was a breakaway, and the third was a screen/friendly fire deflection. Pye kept the Cougars in this game, and if it weren’t for his clutch saves, this game could have ended differently for the Cougars. The Players of the Game as decided by the VIJHL were Ethan Roworth for the Cougars and Colten Thompson for the Predators and it was impossible to argue with these picks. While there were a multitude of players who had a great game on Friday, these two players absolutely stood out amongst their peers. Other players who I thought played great were of course both goalies, Pye and Vanderlee, but also Ryan Comisky for the Cougars and Taylor Webb for the Predators!

The Predators next contest is Saturday, February 11th, against the Port Alberni Bombers while the Cougars next see action on Thursday, February 16th against the Lake Cowichan Kraken! Make sure to stay locked onto for the latest updates on your favourite teams from across Vancouver Island!

Hockey Canada and VIJHL Rulebooks

The HC Playing Rules 2022-2024 is the base document for all hockey played in Canada.

The Junior Supplement is a supporting document that outlines specific variations from the base rules and specific suspension guidelines that apply to Junior B teams in the VIJHL.

Our hope that is that these documents help you to better understand the calls made on the ice and the disciplinary actions taken by the league.

Click the image to access the document.

2023 Cyclone Taylor Cup

BC Hockey along with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League
(KIJHL), the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) and the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey
League (VIJHL) are pleased to announce that the Revelstoke Grizzlies and the city of
Revelstoke will host the 2023 Cyclone Taylor Cup from April 13-16, 2023.

The four-team tournament will see the champions from KIJHL, PJHL and VIJHL along with the
host Revelstoke Grizzlies, battle it out in hopes of hoisting the Cyclone Taylor Cup as B.C.’s
Provincial Junior B Champions.

“I’d like to congratulate the City of Revelstoke and the Grizzlies organization on being named as
the host of the 2023 Cyclone Taylor Cup,” KIJHL Commissioner Jeff Dubois said, “With their
outstanding fan support and recent track record for championship hockey, there’s no doubt
Revelstoke will make for an outstanding host community and team for this event”

The 2023 tournament will mark the fifth time that the Grizzlies will compete for the Cyclone
Taylor Cup, and their first time in the role of host team. Revelstoke claimed the Cup in 1998,
2010 and 2019. They also finished third in the 2022 tournament after winning
the KIJHL Championship.

“I’d like to thank all the members of our Cyclone Taylor Cup bid committee for their time and
effort that has brought this prestigious event to Revelstoke,” said Ryan Parent, General
Manager & Head Coach of the Revelstoke Grizzlies. “Our community has become well-known
for its tremendous support of junior hockey and we’re excited to showcase that next April!”

The city of Revelstoke is home to over 8,000 people and is located in southeastern British
Columbia. It is situated along the Columbia River between the Monashee and Selkirk Mountain
ranges. The tournament will be held at the 1,000 seat Revelstoke Forum, which also serves as
the Grizzlies’ home arena.

“Revelstoke has a long history of hockey and the Grizzlies have been a big part of our
community for more than 20 years,” Gary Sulz, Mayor, City of Revelstoke said. “I am very

excited that the Revelstoke Grizzlies junior hockey team will be hosting the 2023 Cyclone Taylor

The 2022-23 event will be held in accordance with any Provincial Health orders that may be in
place at the time of the event. The Grizzlies host committee and the KIJHL will be working
closely with the Provincial Health Authorities and the City of Revelstoke to ensure this event is
able to be hosted in a safe and successful manner.
Schedule and ticket packages information will be announced in the future. For more information,
please visit:

The Cyclone Taylor Cup
The Cyclone Taylor Cup has been competed for since 1967. The tournament serves as the
British Columbia Provincial Junior B Hockey Championship. The annual tournament is held
amongst the champions of the PJHL, KIJHL, and VIJHL, as well as the host team of the event.
The last time the event was held was in 2022, hosted by the Delta Ice Hawks and was won by
the Langley Trappers of the PJHL. Planning and coordination for this event has been a
collaboration of BC Hockey and the three leagues involved in the tournament, KIJHL, PJHL and
VIJHL, representing forty-three teams in British Columbia.

Storm Announce Leadership Group

By Mark Berry

The Campbell River Storm unveiled their 2022-2023 Leadership group last

Twenty year old Davis Frank is team Captain. In a surprise move before the
morning skate on Friday, his mother Leslie, father Danny and brother Dawson
presented Davis with the ‘C’ in the dressing room. “It was pretty exciting and a
special moment”, said Storm Head Coach Lee Stone adding, “we thought it would
be a nice touch to do something that would make a real memory for Dave.”
Number 18 broke into the VIJHL as a 15 year old affiliate playing with brother
Dawson. That season, Davis contributed to a Storm league championship (11
points in 14 regular season, playoff and Cyclone Taylor Cup games). Into his sixth
year playing junior hockey including a stint in the BCHL and 8 games at the
Cyclone, Davis has accumulated 110 points.

The Alternate Captains were also named; they are three year vet Kal Nagy from
the Cowichan Valley, 20 year old Dylan Franklin from Lake Cowichan and
sophomore Carter De Boer from Taber Alberta. Quinn Messer and Justin Gyori will
share an ‘A’.

Looking for Director of Player Safety – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

Director of Player Safety

Requirements include an understanding of VIJHL Bylaws and Policies, Junior B Supplement , BC Hockey and Canada Hockey applicable rules and regulations .


Specific Duties include but are not limited to:

-provide disciplinary judgements that impact member teams and athletes

-complete an automatic review process of any infraction that results in an automatic suspension or contributes to a suspension based on accumulation of multiple infractions

-review and decide if needed increase suspensions over and above minimums provided in Junior B Supplement

-accept and review member team requests for review of infractions that may have been missed in the course of the game


Please contact VIJHL President, Simon Morgan at

VIJHL Board of Governors Update for 2022-2023 Season

The VIJHL Board of Governors have completed their Annual General Meetings and there are some exciting changes coming in 22-23 for VIJHL fans.

Most notable for the fans is the adoption of a new schedule format that will see the schedule reduced to 48 games.

Non-Divisional opponents will face each other four times next season, up from two in 21-22. Each non-divisional opponent will play two home and two road games against each other next season. The balance of the 48 games will be played inside the divisions.

“Divisional games are always exciting, but this move allows a little more diversity in the schedule. Fans always love seeing the out-division teams pay a visit to their local rink and this will limit the need for a team to see the same divisional opponent for 9 or 10 games in a season” said VIJHL President Simon Morgan.

The decision to drop to 48 games will provide VIJHL players with a little more rest in-season and allow clubs to have more prime night home games.

The league also announced they would begin the search for a head of player safety and discipline. The paid position will be in charge of reviewing all major penalties and determining what supplemental discipline, if any is required. “Player safety is always one of the most talked about issues at our governor meetings and we feel having a dedicated person in-charge of supplemental discipline will be a great step forward for our league and our players.” Said Morgan.

With a new head of discipline being added, the move also allows the Board’s Steering Committee to return to its original purpose of helping grow the VIJHL with a renewed focus on the business of the league including growing sponsorships and helping clubs have more of an impact in their local markets. The 2022-2023 VIJHL Steering Committee is comprised of Linda Lahtinen of the Campbell River Storm, David Michaud of the Port Alberni Bombers, and Laura Peltier of the Saanich Predators.

While the schedule changes will be the most noticeable change the players and fans will see, Morgan added that the league continues to make tweaks to enhance the overall product for players and fans. “Most of the work done by the board behind the scenes will go unnoticed by fans, however it’s crucial to keep moving our league forward. We have a tremendous group of owners and governors who take great pride in the VIJHL and what we bring to Vancouver Island in terms of opportunities for players and community involvement.

The 2022-2023 VIJHL season is set to get started in early September with a schedule announcement coming a little later in the summer.

In the meantime, fans are encouraged to sit back, relax, and have a great summer, but before you do all of that, make sure you’re picking up a season ticket for your local VIJHL team.

2021 – 2022 VIJHL Playoff Format

At a Governor’s meeting in September, the playoff format for this season was agreed upon.

For the 2021/2022 season it has been determined that playoffs will be as follows:

a)    The top three teams of each division (based on league point standing) will participate in the playoffs.

b)    The remaining 2 South teams and 3 North teams will be ranked together based on league point standings.

c)    The top 2 teams in this ranking will participate in the playoffs (3 teams eliminated)

i.   If 2 North teams are selected, the most southerly geographical North division team will participate in the South division’s first 2 rounds of playoffs and will be seeded in the South rankings based on League points.

ii.        If 2 South teams are selected, the most northerly geographical South division team will participate in the North division’s first 2 rounds of playoffs and will be seeded in the North rankings based on League

d)    All series will be seven games and the highest placed team will have home ice advantage.

e)    The first two rounds of the playoffs will be intra-divisional

f)     First round: In each division, the first place team will play the fourth place team and the second and third will play off.

g)    Second round: the winners of round 1 face each other within their division.

h)    Third round: the winner of the North Division vs the Winner of the South Division.



On behalf of the Saanich Predators ownership team, Ed Geric and Norm Kelly.

Effective immediately, bench boss Brent Polischuk has been relieved from his duties as Head Coach and General Manager of the Saanich Predators. Victoria native Cody Carlson will take over immediately as the Pred’s new Head Coach and GM.

Cody joins the team leadership after an extensive hockey career that started with minor hockey at JDF and turned into a successful professional career with more than 600 games played. Drafted 21st in the first round of the 2006 WHL Draft, Cody spent five seasons with the Western Hockey League before starting his nine-year pro career that included two years in the ECHL, and seven years in European leagues. Cody played his last three seasons with the ASC Corona Brasov in Romania before returning to Victoria and taking on the Assistant Coach and Assistant GM roles for the Kerry Park Islanders for the 2021 / 2022 season. He has also worked as a skill development coach for various programs including the Victoria Grizzlies development camps.

The Preds are grateful to Brent Polischuk for his time with the team and wish a warm welcome to Coach Cody Carlson who will be on the bench for the team’s next game Friday October 15 at Pearkes Arena, where they’ll be facing off against the Westshore Wolves. The Saanich Predators have played 14 games so far in the 2021/2022 season with five wins and eight losses.

Originally posted on