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The Saanich Braves clinched the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s South Division title Saturday, by defeating the Kerry Park Islanders 5-2. Finally, after a season-long battle of parity that saw four of the five teams perched atop the division standings at some point this year the Braves take it.

Ryan Strange opened the scoring at 13:30 of the first period. Gavin Grewal and Kyle Mace assisted.

One-minute and 13 seconds later it was Dale McCabe’s turn, putting the visitors up 2-0. Kerry Park would get one back in the first from Evan Easton.

During the second period, the Braves put the game away with Grewal, Strange and Trevor Owens scoring after Brandon McClintock had made it 3-2.

The teams started the third period with the Braves up 5-2 and that is the way the game ended.

Saanich went into a defensive shell and both teams registered just a handful of shots, eight for Saanich and six for Kerry Park.

The Braves went 1/5 on the man advantage, while the Islanders were 0/3.

Chris Combiadakis stopped 36 of 38 shots for Saanich, while Chase Anderson faced 29 and let in 24.

The Braves will host the Westshore Wolves and the Peninsula Panthers Wednesday and Friday next week to finish off the regular season.

The playoff format sees the first place team take on the eighth, second and against seventh, third versus six and four up against five – by the league standings.

Currently, the first round appears to be:

Campbell River Storm versus the Peninsula Panthers, who may be a handful. Nanaimo could take over first place, however, currently; they are slated to play the Oceanside Generals. The Braves should play the Westshore Wolves; however, nothing is settled, even with just a few games remaining.

NORTH DIVISION
TEAM GP W L T TP
Storm 46 34 6 4 74
Buccaneers 46 35 9 0 72
Generals 46 18 22 1 42
Glacier Kings 45 4 40 0 9
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SOUTH DIVISION
TEAM GP W L T TP
Braves 46 25 16 2 55
Cougars 45 22 20 2 47
Islanders 46 21 20 0 47
Wolves 45 22 21 1 46
Panthers 45 19 25 0 39
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SCORING LEADERS
PLAYER GP G A PTS
C. Coutre (WSW) 40 29 32 61
D. Hards (CRS) 39 25 30 55
D. Frank (CRS) 35 22 30 52
B. Tutte (WSW) 37 22 30 52
J. Schubert (NAN) 43 22 27 49
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GOALIE LEADERS
GOALIE GP W GAA SV%
L Murphy (CRS) 19 13 1.62 .934
N Reinhart (VIC) 15 7 2.32 .913
R Mathieson (SAN) 36 18 2.59 .925
S Deakin (OCE) 24 14 2.64 .904
D Krall (NAN) 27 17 2.76 .921
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