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The Saanich Braves tied their Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff series at two games apiece against the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Monday. They have now won two straight at Pearkes Arena.

Monday, they defeated the Buccaneers by the score of 4-3. Saturday, the Braves won 6-1.

The series is now a best-of-three.

Monday, the Buccaneers got on the board first with a short-handed marker at 2:26 by Brandon Roberge, the goal was unassisted.

Saanich stormed back with two, one-minute and 17 seconds apart at 12:35 and 13:52. Gavin Grewal and Dale McCabe scored.

The Braves got right to work during the second period with a Michael Sproule powerplay marker at 1:00. McCabe earned his third point of the game on the play. The powerplay came when three players were sent to the box at 25 seconds. Zach Guerra was off for hooking, meanwhile, Nanaimo’s Coleman Doney was called for unsportsmanlike conduct and Nanaimo received a second, bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Nanaimo’s Seamus O’Toole got one back at 17:18 and Trent Bell scored a second short-handed goal for Nanaimo at 3:49 of the third. The score was tied 3-3.

At 10:37, 18-year-old Victoria native Ryan Strange scored for Saanich to put the home team up 4-3. It was the game-winner.

Derek Krall manned the net for Nanaimo stopping 35 of 39 shots, while Riley Mathieson stopped 35 of 38 for Saanich.

Nanaimo failed to score on their seven powerplay opportunities, while Saanich capitalized once on their seven.

The series reconvenes Thursday in Nanaimo, Friday in Victoria and Sunday, if necessary, will see game seven in Nanaimo.

The winner goes on to play the well-rested Campbell River Storm, who dispatched the Westshore Wolves in four straight.

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