Skyler Diamond-Burchuck from Winnipeg handles the puck during the Peninsula Panthers’ home opener in the newly-refurbished Arena B at Panorama Rec. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Peninsula Panthers hold of the Wolves in home opener

Westshore levels 41 shots on goal but the Panthers come away with the win

Rookie forward Josh Lingard scored the Peninsula Panthers’ first goal in the newly-refurbished Arena B in North Saanich, but it was his teammate in goal who ensured they would win their season home opener.

The Peninsula Panthers Junior B hockey team defeated the visiting Westshore Wolves 2-1 on Fri., Oct. 6 — the team’s first home game of the season after playing seven games on the road.

Goaltender Bryce Schiebel stopped 40 of the 41 shots hurled his way by the hard-hitting Wolves (5-4) to backstop his team’s effort, which only managed to get 12 shots on the opposing net.

The Wolves came out fast and strong, taking the body to the Panthers early on. It seemed to get the best of Peninsula (4-4), who took a series of penalties in the first period.

They managed to hold Westshore off the scoreboard after the Wolves peppered 14 shots at Schiebel. And it was while shorthanded that Lingard broke through the defence on a Bryson Hines defensive play to force a turnover, and potted the Panthers’ first goal of the game.

Just over six minutes into the second period, Thomas Spink assisted on Peninsula’s second goal of the game, by Brendan Martin. Westshore would get one back in that period, a Nick Polomark deflection past Schiebel.

“There are many different ways to win a hockey game,” said Panthers’ Coach Brad Tippett. “Tonight we discovered a new one and that was by playing more than a third of the game short-handed.”

Westshore had 11 power plays on the night, as Peninsula racked up 35 minutes in penalties, including a five-minute check from behind and 10 minute game misconduct to Shota Yamamoto. The Wolves took only 14 minutes in penalties, giving Peninsula six power plays. Both teams killed them all off.

The win was the highlight in the reopening of Panorama Recreation Centre’s Arena B. It recently underwent a $2.2 million upgrade to install a new concrete rink floor, widen the rink surface, move penalty boxes across the ice and make the team bench area larger. The Panthers return to the brighter confines of their home arena Fri., Oct. 13 to host the Kerry Park Islanders. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Before then, the Panthers are on the road again, visiting the Victoria Cougars Thanksgiving Monday and then in Nanaimo Oct. 12 to play the North division-leading Buccaneers.

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