When the Victoria Cougars scored on their first shot on goal against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Saturday, it opened the floodgates on a 6-1 victory and a berth in the Cyclone Taylor Cup final.
When the Cougars scored on their first shot on goal against the Richmond Sockeyes on Sunday in the championship, they were hoping it would be déjà vu all over again. But it was not to be. This time it was one and done for the VIJHL champions as they fell 4-1 to Richmond and had to settle for the silver medal for the second year in a row.
The PJHL champion Sockeyes scored four unanswered goals in the second period, chasing goalie Evan Roch (three goals on 18 shots) in favour of Comox Valley native and WHL Victoria Royals draft pick Michael Herringer. He played well in relief, stopping six of seven shots.
But the damage had been done, and Kootenay Alder, after giving up that early goal, kicked out the next 17 that came his way.
The teams opened the matinee match-up with even play. Matthew Ho opened the scoring at 3:18 of the
first period from Dane Feeney and Sam Rice. The Sockeyes started coming on as the period wound down could not beat Roch until 7:28 of the second when Jeremy Hamaguchi tipped in a Scott Wessa blast from the point.
Three minutes later Jake Roder put on a great individual effort to score his fourth goal of the tourney on a wrap-around, and the Sockeyes were suddenly in control of the game. They were skating well, moving the puck crisply and checking tightly at both ends of the ice.
Liam Lawson made it 3-1 at 11:52 when he finished off a two-on-one rush by rifling a shot to the top right corner. Victoria called timeout and switched goalies at that point. But Richmond was on a roll and continued to carry the play to the Cougars. Rudi Thorsteinson was left wide open at the left side of the net for an easy goal at 18:28, and that was more than enough to earn Richmond their fifth B.C. Junior B
Final shots on goal were 25-18. Neither team took a penalty in the game. Players of the Game were Ho and Rhys Williams for Victoria and Roder and Hamaguchi for Richmond.