Through the regular season, the Campbell River Storm racked up almost twice as many points as the Peninsula Panthers – 109 to 55.
Coach Mike Wilson had said though he wasn’t taking anything for granted in round one against the gritty South Division team, and for good reason.
As game one wore on Tuesday night, the visiting Panthers looked more like the league leaders, pinning the Storm in their own end with the fore-check and outworking them to the loose pucks, particularly during the second period.
Peninsula started the scoring late in the first period with a shorthanded goal before Damon Porter and Tyler Chyzowski tallied for the home team to give Campbell River a 2-1 lead by the first intermission.
Midway through the second though, a bad giveaway turned into the tying goal for Peninsula, and a few minutes later, Panther Logan Speirs was left unmarked in front of the goal in what turned into a cat-and-mouse game against goalie Aaron de Kok. With the defence nowhere to be found, the Storm netminder had no chance to turn aside the decisive goal.
In the third period, the Storm came out with more energy, but the visitors were not giving up any easy scoring chances. A late powerplay gave Peninsula the chance to increase their lead. The final score went in the books as 4-2 for Peninsula.
The teams are back at the Brind’Amour for game two on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The next two games are set for North Saanich on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. and Monday at 7:30 p.m.
In other first-round action Tuesday night, Nanaimo beat Westshore in overtime 3-2 and Saanich doubled Kerry Park 6-3.