Josh Lingard powered the Peninsula Panthers with four goals in regular Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) action Friday, then led the VIJHL All-Stars against their counterparts from Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) Sunday.
Lingard’s personal performance was part and parcel of a larger showcase by the league’s top-scoring line as Tanner Wort and Riley Braun also added to their point totals over the weekend, which saw the Panthers maul the Kerry Park Islanders 10-5 in front of a large, appreciative home crowd at Panorama Recreation Centre.
The trio combined for 16 points on the night, led by Lingard’s six points. Braun chipped in with two goals and three assists, while league-leading scorer Wort added five assists.
“They could not have been more dominant,” said Pete Zubersky, general manager. But they were Sunday afternoon, as the VIJHL all-stars lost 7-6 to their PJHL counterparts at the Ladner Leisure Centre. Joined by the Panthers’ Thomas Spink and Skyler Diamond-Burchuk, Braun led all scorers with three goals while Lingard and Wort each added singles, as the line combined for five of the six VIJHL’s goals during an entertaining game settled in sudden death-overtime.
“These three had an eye-popping game on Friday and then to turn around and dominate in a game that had the best players from two of the three Junior B Leagues in the province, was absolutely amazing,” said Zubersky. “It’s crazy to think about it but these guys are getting better every week. I cannot imagine how much confidence they will carry into the playoffs. It’s not often that fans can see anything like the show these three put on night in and night out. I honestly wonder what is next.”
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