Braves Defeat Campbell River in Chippy Affair

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
 
The Saanich Braves defeated the Campbell River Storm 6-2 in a penalty laden VIJHL match-up on Wednesday evening at Pearkes Arena.

 
January 11, 2012, Saanich, BC – If the Saanich Braves and Campbell River Storm had a point in the standings for every nasty word, threat, or barb that they threw at each other during their game Wednesday night, both teams would easily be leading their respective VIJHL Divisions.
 
However it is goals on the scoreboard that ultimately equate to points in the standings, and in Wednesday night’s penalty filled game at Pearkes Arena, it was the Braves who outscored the Storm 6-2 to grab their 15th win of the season and hand the Storm their 21st loss.
IMG 8247Saanich’s Sam McMullen tries to drive past Campbell River’s Josh Cook during Wednesday night’s action.
 
The Braves jumped out to a 3-0 lead just ten minutes into the game but failed to score again in the first period and took that lead to the break.
 
At the start of the second, the Storm found their legs and scored two quick goals to get back into the fray, but before the period was out however, the Braves would get those two back and take a 5-2 lead into the third period.
Saanich’s Ty Jones, here rushing up ice with Matt Biagioni, took over the VIJHL scoring lead with a goal and four assists in Wednesday’s 6-2 win over the Storm.
 
The third period was uneventful from a scoring point of view until the Braves potted a meaningless power-play goal with 44 seconds remaining to make the final score 6-2.
 
Leading the way for Saanich was Captain Ty Jones who had another multiple point night – a goal and four assists – to move him into the lead for the VIJHL scoring title with 58 points, just one up on Victoria’s Brody Coulter who will be in action Thursday night against Peninsula.
IMG 8181Saanich’s James Kellington, here battling with the Storm’s Brett Willsie, would notch a pair of goals in the Brave’s 6-2 win.
 
Saanich newcomer Andrew White also had a good night with a goal and two assists, his 3rd and 5th respectively since joining the team three games ago.  James Kellington added a pair of goals while Connor Krupa and Jack Palmer had a goal and an assist each to round out the scoring.  
IMG 8349Saanich newcomer Andrew White is fitting in nicely and scored a goal and two assists Wednesday to give him 3 goals and 5 assists in his three games so far with the Braves.
 
In net, Campbell River’s Andy Salazar got the start but was yanked after the Brave’s third goal in favor of Nick Babich who played well in relief.  The Braves started Tanner McGaw and he stopped 37 of 39 shots to get the win.
 
The two teams will go at it again on Friday night in Campbell River and if one is to believe some of the threats made late in the game Wednesday, the league would be smart to implement a two-man referee system for the game, or perhaps have some extra security in place just in case.
IMG 8275Connor Krupa would have a goal and an assist in Wednesday night’s win over Campbell River.
 
Hopefully the teams will have today and most of tomorrow to cool off and they will focus on playing hockey in the last game preceding the All-Star Classic on Sunday.
 
Speaking of which, the Braves are hosting the VIJHL All-Star Classic at Pearkes Arena and things kick off Sunday the 15th at 1:00 pm with the Prospects Game.  A skills competition follows and the North-South All-Star game begins at 3:30 pm.  Tickets for all three events are just $15 for adults and will be available at the door.
IMG 8218Saanich’s Shawn McBride, who will participate in Sunday’s VIJHL Prospects Game, looks for a way around Campbell River’s Ryan White during second period action Wednesday.

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