The Saanich Braves continue to impress as they start their Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season with a 9-0-0-1 record. After a stretch of one-goal wins, they defeated the Victoria Cougars at Pearkes Arena by the score of 7-2 Friday night.
Dale McCabe got the Braves on the board at 12:53 of the first with a marker from Gavin Grewal. The 20-year-old McCabe, who grew up in Victoria, has been a consistent scorer over the past three season accumulating 32, 48, and 46 regular season points. He has 11 already in 10 games this year.
The period would end 1-0 as the Braves held the Cougars to just four shots.
The teams would trade goals in the second period with Kyle Mace scoring on the powerplay at 1:31 for the Braves. Jack Hanrahan was off for tripping. The Cougars would finally get on the board at 19:57 – a typical momentum-shift opportunity, but Saanich was relentless during the third period scoring five goals before Spencer Golden scored at 16:51 from Bryce Irwin.
Zach Guerra would get two, Grewal would score, Mace potted his second of the game and Jarrod Lucoe would score the Braves’ seventh goal at 16:29.
Cam Stevenson played the bulk of the game getting in 49:49 and stopping 25-29 shots, but Cam St. Pierre saw 10:11 of plat and the Braves took advantage scoring three times on five shots.
Connor Cheyne earned the win by stopping 14 of 16 Cougars’ shots, making light work for the 18-year-old local Victoria goaltender.
The powerplays went 0/3 and 2/6 for the Braves.
Thursday night, the Braves visited the Nanaimo Buccaneers and defeated them by the score of 4-3. Nanaimo got themselves into penalty trouble and gave up nine man advantages, which the Braves took advantage of scoring twice.
Shots were 34-28. Nanaimo may have earned a better result if they played a more disciplined game; shades of 2017-2018.
Elsewhere in the “V”, the Peninsula Panthers, who had threatened to blossom last year, took out the Comox Valley Glacier Kings by the score of 8-4 thanks to three, three-point efforts by Tanner Wort, Riley Braun and Jacob Gajda.
The Panthers fired a stunning 54 shots at goaltender Matthias Smith, who acquitted himself well under the steady barrage that saw 18 shots in each of the three periods pounded his way.
The North Division’s Campbell River Storm once again lead with an 8-3 record after handing the Oceanside Generals a 6-1 drubbing.
The Storm fired a strong 42 shots, but more telling was the lack of shots by the Generals who’s artillery were good for just 14 and only three during the third period.
Saturday night will see the Panthers visit the Kerry Park Islanders while the Buccaneers head up island to Comox. Sunday the Generals will visit the Islanders with a 3:00 pm start time.