New Year, New Blood, Braves Win!

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (christianjstewart.zenfolio.com

Ty Jones and Jack Palmer each scored twice to lead the Saanich Braves over the Kerry Park Islanders in VIJHL action on Friday evening.

 
January 6, 2012, Saanich, BC – With an injection of new blood in their lineup, the Saanich Braves began the new year ironically with the same old players leading the way, as Captain Ty Jones and rookie star Jack Palmer each scored twice to pace the Braves to a 6-2 win over the Kerry Park Islanders in VIJHL league play Friday evening at Pearkes Arena.
 
Ty Jones began the year right where he left off, scoring a pair of goals and earning an assist in the Braves 6-2 win over Kerry Park.
 
With the final trade and roster deadline fast approaching, the Braves have added three new players to their roster, including defenceman Adam Wade (acquired in a trade with Kerry Park), defenceman Jean-Luc Fournier and flashy forward and California native Andrew White, who moved over from the Fernie Ghostriders of the KIJHL.
 
IMG 7205Saanich’s Nick Vanstone looks to make a move on Kerry Park’s Jerry Vale during the second period Friday.
 
All three players made their debut Friday night and White wasted no time in getting on the score sheet as he made a nice cross ice pass to Ty Jones to set up the Brave’s first goal at the 4:18 mark of the first period.
 
The Braves would add to their lead with 11:25 left in the period, when Jack Palmer tipped home a Brandon Parmar point shot on the power play to make the score 2-0.
 
IMG 7427Saanich’s Jack Palmer would tally two goals on the night including an empty net goal to seal the Brave’s victory.
 
The Islanders would respond with just over five minutes remaining in the period, as Kyle Peterson – recently acquired by the Islanders from the Peninsula Panthers in a trade for Trevor Yee – would convert a pass form his brother Cole (also part of the trade with Peninsula) and the Islanders would trail 2-1 at the first intermission.
 
IMG 7216Saanich’s Connor Krupa skates the puck into the attacking zone, ahead of Kerry Park’s Conner Morgan.
 
In the second period, the Braves would begin to take control of the game and would notch a third goal with just over ten minutes remaining, as Ty Jones would get his second of the evening, chasing Islander starter Jackson Jane from the net in favor of Matt Chester. 
 
Chester played well in relief until Saanich’s Sam Johnston beat him with a shorthanded goal with 4:12 remaining in the period, converting a nice two-on-one feed from Dan Burkmar.
 
IMG 7251Saanich’s Sam Johnston would notch a goal and two assists Friday evening.
 
The Braves 4-1 lead held up until the 9:23 of the third period when Kerry Park’s Alex Milligan would finish off a two-on-one break with a shot past Saanich netminder Tanner McGaw and the Islanders moved within two.
 
IMG 7191Matt Biagioni worked hard for a pair of assists in Friday night’s game.
 
The Islanders continued to press the Braves and pulled their goaltender with almost two minutes remaining, but the move backfired as Jack Palmer would put his second goal of the night into the empty net.
 
IMG 7393Andrew White had a successful debut as a Brave, scoring a goal and an assist in the win over Kerry Park.
 
Following that goal, the Braves would add one more, as White scored his first as a Brave, converting a beautiful pass from Sheldon Trees and giving the Braves the final 6-2 win.
 
Head Coach Brad Cook was very happy with the win, “We had a great practice the other day and it showed tonight.  The new guys fit in the mix really well and all played important roles for us, especially Wade and White on the power play.  Matt Biagioni [who had two assists] also worked his butt off for us.” 
 
IMG 7290Saanich’s Sheldon Trees looks for the shot during the third period Friday. Trees would later earn a nice assist on a goal by newcomer Andrew White.
 
Notes:  Brave defenceman Jaden Schmeisser is still up with the Grizzlies and may stick with the Junior A team depending on their playoff aspirations after this weekend’s games.  Hayden Long is also out again with an upper body injury.  Sam Johnston quietly continues to show why he deserved his all-star selection as he notched a goal and two assists on the evening.  
 
IMG 7253Saanich’s Dan Burkmar would set up a Sam Johnston goal on this play during the second period Friday night.

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