Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart(christianjstewart.zenfolio.com)
Ty Jones had two goals and three assists to lead the Saanich Braves to a 6-3 win over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings Friday evening.
Friday December 2, 2011, Saanich, BC – What a difference a day makes.
After a lacklustre, undisciplined and sloppy 3-1 loss to the Kerry Park Islanders Thursday night to kill their win streak at seven, the Saanich Braves rebounded with a vengeance on Friday night, defeating the sluggish Comox Valley Glacier Kings 6-3 at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
The Glacier Kings were late in getting to Pearkes Arena, arriving just fifteen minutes prior to warm-up and they were a bit late to show up on the ice as well, as the hard charging Braves jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first five minutes of the game on goals by Sam Johnston (on a short-handed breakaway) and call-up Dylan Grant, his first in the VIJHL.
Saanich’s Sam Johnston slips the puck past Comox goaltender Cameron Large to give the Braves a 1-0 lead Friday.
The Glacier Kings responded just 22 seconds later when Adam Robertson put one past Saanich starter Tanner McGaw, however, with 11:40 remaining, Saanich’s Ty Jones notched his first of the game to put the Braves back out in front 3-1.
Saanich call-up Dylan Grant (right) celebrates his first career VIJHL goal with teammate Hayden Long (left). The goal gave the Braves a 2-0 lead.
That marked the end of the game for Comox goaltender Cameron Large, who was anything but that, allowing the three Saanich goals on just four shots in total. Backup Jackson Winkler, who spent part of last season with the Braves, came on in relief.
The goaltender change seemed to wake the Glacier Kings up a bit and with just over three minutes remaining, Jordan Kamprath pulled the Kings within one, sending the teams to the first intermission with the Braves leading 3-2.
Saanich’s Ty Jones sparked the Braves once again with a pair of goals and three assists in the 6-3 win over Comox.
In the second period, the Braves returned to the fore-checking system that seemed to elude them Thursday and they managed to pin the Glacier Kings deep in their end on a regular basis.
That tenacity finally paid off at the 5:31 mark when Ty Jones took a nice pass from James Kellington and snapped his second goal over the shoulder of Winkler, giving the Braves a 4-2 lead.
Sam McMullen, seen here carrying the puck in the first period, would later score the Braves 5th goal on Friday evening.
The Braves would add to their lead with 1:16 remaining when, on the power play, Sam McMullen would bang home the rebound off a Ty Jones shot, giving the Braves a 5-3 lead at the break.
In the third period, the Braves would strike again, this time with James Kellington – who also had two earlier assists – hitting the back of the net after receiving a great feed from Jones who was behind the net.
Saanich’s James Kellington would have a goal and two assists to help the Braves defeat Comox 6-3 on Friday.
Comox would respond just over a minute later as Kamprath would notch his second of the game, but that is as close as they would come, as the Braves shut-them down the rest of the way to secure the win.
The Braves were playing both Thursday night and tonight without a number of regulars, due to an injury to Nick Vanstone, and suspensions to a number of other players as a result of the line brawl with the Cougars last Friday night. Also absent from the bench was Head Coach Brad Cook, who was assessed a four game suspension because of the brawl.
Comox Captain Jackson Garrett (right) battles for the puck with Saanich’s Shawn McBride during Friday’s action.
Tanner McGaw faced 36 shots in total for the win. Winger Jack Palmer, after being quiet for a couple of games, finally got back in the swing of things and was credited with three assists.
The Braves look to continue their success of late when they travel to Campbell River for a game against the Storm on Sunday afternoon.