Here come the Panthers! #5 Braeden Hansen, #4 Tristan Ernst, #15 Matt Lawrence and goaltender Bryce Schiebel all look up ice as the Panthers go on the attack. (Gordon Lee Photography)

Peninsula Panthers finally solve the Kerry Park Islanders

Panthers score first win over Islanders in 13 games over two seasons

NORTH SAANICH — The Peninsula Panthers knocked off the Kerry Park Islanders in overtime last Friday night at the Panorama Recreation Centre — the first time the North Saanich squad has done so over the last two seasons.

It took one minute into overtime for Marshall Brown to find the back of the net behind Islanders’ goaltender Chase Anderson to give the local “Cats” a heart-pounding 5-4 win. It was a goal that the Club had been looking to score for the past two seasons.

“It has been an amazing run of games against the Islanders,” explained General Manager Pete Zubersky. “We lost all eight times to them last season and then they beat us in our previous four games this year. We lost 6-5 in double overtime a couple weeks ago and I thought that we had outplayed them in two others this season but we just could not crack into the win column.

“It was nice to get the win for the sake of the win but also because we are in an absolute dogfight with five other teams in the standings. The league has so much parity this season … it’s crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it in 20 years.”

The Panthers went down 3-1 midway through the second stanza but battled back to get it to 3-2 when 40 minutes were in the books. And they took a 4-3 lead with under five minutes to go. It looked like they were going to seal the win but with only 22 ticks left on the clock, Islanders’ forward Kayden Peck ripped a seeing-eye shot over the shoulder of Panthers’ starter Bryce Schiebel to knot the score at 4-4 and send it to the extra frame.

One minute into the overtime period, Panthers’ defenceman Thomas Spink struggled to find the handle on the puck in the neutral zone but was able to move it up the left side to the Panthers’ leading scorer Josh Lingard. Lingard dashed into the Islanders’ zone, pulled the lone defender to him and then slipped the puck over to Brown, who was also streaking to the net. Anderson came sliding over but Brown waited and then ripped a shot to the top of the yawning cage for the overtime winner.

Schiebel picked up the win, blocking 34 of 38 shots. Matt Lawrence scored twice with singles going to Brendan Martin, Lingard and Brown. Lawrence, Lingard and Brown were named as the game’s three stars.

The Panthers were hosting the Oceanside Generals on Monday night as the PNR was going to press. They will be back home at the Panorama this Friday when they host the Westshore Wolves for a 7:30 p.m. start.

— News staff

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