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Determined to turn around their up and down season, the Saanich Braves blasted a stunning 54 shots at Nanaimo Buccaneers goaltender Keenan Rancier to squeeze out a 4-3 win.

The Braves started the season on a tear going 10-1-1, however, things went sideways and since they went 2-7-1-1. Entering Friday’s game, they have a win-loss record of 12-8-2-2.

They weren’t going to let this one get away from them, as they lost 7-1 the previous night to the cross-town rival Victoria Cougars, who sit in first place in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

The Buccaneers opened the scoring at 1:29 of the first period with a marker from Nolan Wall.

With Billy Walters sitting for two minutes for slashing, the powerplay went to work and Kyle Mace scored an unassisted goal at 7:00 to tie the game for Saanich. Just 26 seconds later James Vince put one in and at 13:49 Jackson Estey scored on the powerplay to give the home team a 3-1 first-period lead – the most dangerous lead in hockey. They took a blistering 24 shots in the first period alone.

The Braves scored early in the second period to keep the momentum. At 1:56, Vince scored his second goal of the game, which turned out to be the game-winner for the 5’6” 130-pound Victoria native. The Buccaneers would get one back at 17:53 on the powerplay. Jacob McQuillin was sitting for five-minutes for kneeing and also earned a game misconduct.

Nanaimo would make a game of it by scoring again at 13:24 of the third with Walter scoring, unassisted. but that is as close as Nanaimo would come. They have now lost back-to-back games.  They were defeated the night before by the last-place Comox Valley Glacier Kings in Nanaimo. They maintain second place in the North Division and the Braves are three points up on third place Kerry Park Islanders in the South Division.

The Buccaneers powerplay went 1/5, while the Braves went 2/6.

Chris Combiadakis earned the 26-save win in net for the Braves.

The Braves don’t play again until Friday, Nov. 30 when they host the Kerry Park Islanders at Pearkes Arena.

Elsewhere in the “V”, the Campbell River Storm needed just one goal to defeat the Peninsula Panthers in Sidney, though they scored two, one during the first period and third periods respectively. Owen Christiensen and Noah Fladagar got the even-strength goals at the end of each period.

Campbell River outshot Peninsula 35-26 – both powerplays went 0/5 on the night.

Aaron de Kok earned the 26-save shutout win for the Storm, while Connor McKillop took the loss for the Panthers stopping 33 of 35 shots on the night.

NORTH DIVISION
TEAM GP W L T TP
Storm 25 18 6 0 55
Buccaneers 23 14 8 0 44
Generals 25 7 17 0 23
Glacier Kings 23 2 19 0 9
VIEW FULL STANDINGS »
SOUTH DIVISION
TEAM GP W L T TP
Cougars 25 17 6 0 55
Braves 25 13 8 0 45
Islanders 25 13 10 0 42
Panthers 25 7 10 0 32
Wolves 22 5 12 0 22
VIEW FULL STANDINGS »
SCORING LEADERS
PLAYER GP G A PTS
M. Albinati (VIC) 23 18 17 35
E. Easton (KPI) 24 15 18 33
B. Chacalias (VIC) 22 13 17 30
T. Tiel (KPI) 25 11 18 29
B. Walters (NAN) 23 8 20 28
VIEW FULL LIST »
GOALIE LEADERS
GOALIE GP W GAA SV%
B Wood (INACT) 6 5 1.34 .938
O Sikkes (VIC) 5 4 1.41 .951
E Samyn (CRS) 5 2 1.82 .909
A de Kok (CRS) 17 13 1.88 .937
C Stevenson (VIC) 15 13 2.02 .930
VIEW FULL LIST »

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