Friday, at Pearkes Arena, the Saanich Braves were leaving nothing to chance against the winless Comox Valley Glacier Kings, firing a whopping 53 shots at goaltender Matthias Smith to eke out a 3-1 win. The Braves earned their second victory in a row, after losing three the previous week.

Saanich took 19 shots during the first period and 20 more during the third.

Losing to the Glacier Kings at home was not an option – a team currently sporting a record of 0-15-0-2.

Meanwhile, the win combined with a Cougars loss Thursday night in Nanaimo, the Braves regain first place in the South Division as well as the league, leapfrogging their cross-town rivals. Both teams have 41 points; however, the Braves have one game in-hand.

Smith stopped all 32 shots that came his way during the first two periods. It was a stellar performance for the 17-year-old Courtenay native.

The Glacier Kings opened the scoring at 13:01 of the second period. Nineteen-year-old Whistler native Finn Withy scored an unassisted marker.  The Glacier Kings were enjoying a rare lead in a game.

At 7:34 of the third period, Dale McCabe scored a powerplay goal from Kyle Mace and Evan Abgrall. Less than five minutes later Abgrall would score his own goal on the man advantage for the game-winner.

With Smith pulled in favour of the extra attacker, Ryan Strange scored into the empty net at 19:04 with Gavin Grewal and Jake Wilhelm assisting.

It was a close one for the Braves, who didn’t want to be the first Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team to lose to the Glacier Kings this season.

The powerplays went 2/6 and 0/2 for the Braves and Glacier Kings respectively.

Connor Cheyne earned the 22-save win for the Braves.

The lead atop the league may be short-lived as the Cougars will visit the Glacier Kings Saturday, while the Braves play in Mill Bay against the Kerry Park Islanders.

Elsewhere in the league Friday, the Peninsula Panthers defeated the Oceanside Generals 4-3 and the Campbell River Storm took out the Islanders 5-0 in Campbell River.

Saturday’s schedule will also see the Storm visit the Generals in a North Division tilt.

NORTH DIVISION
TEAM GP W L T TP
Storm 19 13 5 0 40
Buccaneers 17 11 5 0 35
Generals 18 5 13 0 15
Glacier Kings 17 0 15 0 3
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SOUTH DIVISION
TEAM GP W L T TP
Braves 18 12 3 0 41
Cougars 19 13 5 0 41
Panthers 20 7 8 0 28
Islanders 19 8 9 0 27
Wolves 17 4 10 0 16
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SCORING LEADERS
PLAYER GP G A PTS
M. Albinati (VIC) 19 15 16 31
G. Grewal (SAN) 18 10 14 24
J. Zary (NAN) 15 13 9 22
B. Chacalias (VIC) 16 11 11 22
J. Lingard (PEN) 19 13 8 21
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GOALIE LEADERS
GOALIE GP W GAA SV%
B Wood (NAN) 6 5 1.34 .938
O Sikkes (VIC) 4 3 1.51 .947
E Samyn (CRS) 5 2 1.82 .909
A de Kok (CRS) 13 10 2.00 .932
A Dendl (NAN) 9 7 2.30 .908
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