The Victoria Cougars scored four of their six goals on the powerplay on Tuesday night as they put the Kerry Park Islanders on the ropes with a 6-3 win at Kerry Park Arena.
The Cougars capitalized on four of their six man advantages as they increased their lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-1.
“That’s why they’re the top team in this league,” Islanders owner Mark Osmond said.
The game wasn’t the Isles’ best of the four contests in the series so far, but they refused to give up, pushing hard down the stretch.
“We didn’t have our best start, but I thought we battled hard,” Osmond said.
The Cougars scored two unanswered powerplay goals in the first period. The Isles managed to make it 2-1 and then 3-2, with Samson McLean scoring both Kerry Park goals, but with seven seconds left in the middle frame, the Cougars scored their fourth powerplay marker of the night to make it 4-2.
The Cougars scored again at 5:29 of the third. Josh Poland replied 16 seconds later to reinvigorate the Isles, but they weren’t able to muster any more offence, and Victoria added an empty-netter as Kerry Park had to kill off a questionable charging penalty to Garnett Roberts over the last two minutes.
It was do or die for the Isles as they played game five at Archie Browning Arena on Thursday night, after press time.
“We’ve got to go down Thursday and play,” Osmond said after Tuesday’s loss. “It could be the last game of the year, so they’ve got to play like it.”
Regardless of how things go in this series, the team has already accomplished more by winning one playoff round than any other Kerry Park team in the last five years.
“We got through the first round, and that was our goal throughout the year,” Osmond said.
If the Isles did win Thursday, game six will go at Kerry Park Arena on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Watch cowichanvalleycitizen.com for results.