Based on the early season results, the Westshore Wolves are in for some tough games during the 2016-17 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League campaign.
Having been the best junior B team in the South Division not called the Victoria Cougars for the past few seasons, the Wolves find themselves in the middle of a highly competitive pack. The resurgent Saanich Braves won five of their first eight games, while the Cougars continue to roll along, winning four of their first five.
Following a 5-2 home loss to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings on Wednesday, the Wolves’ 3-4 record had them in fourth spot. Westshore makes its first appearance in Campbell River on Friday (Sept. 30) against the North Division-leading Storm (6-1).
Things don’t get any easier for the Wolves, as they return home for their first game of the season against the arch-rival Cougars, next Wednesday at The Q Centre (7 p.m. start).
Tyler Carpendale and Joe Gage staked the Wolves to a 2-0 lead after one period last night, both scoring unassisted goals. But the Kings came back with a goal in the second and three more in the third – including two on the power play – before adding an empty-netter to finish things off.
Through Wednesday’s game, 19-year-old forward Brandon Tangney led the Wolves with five goals and seven points, followed by rookie Cameron Coutre with four goals and six points. Fellow first-year Wolves forward Jordan Guiney has also shown promise tallying four points in seven games, while Joe Gage anchors the blueline and has five points himself.
A pair of rookie goaltenders have so far split the duties in net for the Wolves.
Jordan Spandli has posted a 3.73 goals against average in just over four games, while partner Liam Atkins, who was in net against Comox Valley, has a 2.27 average and .910 save percentage in just under three games.