VIJHL Update: Braves Clinch, Comox Forces Game 7

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Saanich Braves full color logo

Story by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

(ISN) – The Saanich Braves defeated Campbell River 2-1 in double overtime to clinch their series, while Comox forced a Game 7 with a 6-2 win over Kerry Park in VIJHL playoff action Thursday night.

In Campbell River, Saanich’s Ty Jones would net the winner, his 10th of the playoffs, at the 8:04 mark of the second overtime period to give the Braves a 2-1 win over the Storm, thus clinching their opening round playoff series 4 games to 2.

Saanich’s Bowman Rutledge would make the surprise start in net for the Braves after their regular goaltender Tanner McGaw took sick and did not make the trip with the team.  Rutledge made the most of his opportunity, stopping 34 of 35 shots including 10 in the overtime.

Campbell River’s Alex Benjestorf would score for Campbell River in the second period, while Saanich would tie it up on a third period goal by Jones to send it to overtime.

Both teams were missing key players for this game, as in addition to McGaw, Saanich was without regulars Jack Palmer (lower body), Liam Sproule (upper body), Hayden Long (upper body), Sheldon Trees (upper body) and Dan Burkmar (upper body) due to injury, while Campbell River was without Captain Kayden Trumbley and Dixon Wing both of whom earned three game suspensions for their antics in the Braves 7-3 win Wednesday night.

In Mill Bay, the Kerry Park Islanders missed an opportunity to close out their opening round series with the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, as the Kings defeated the Islanders handily 6-2.

Scoring details were not fully available at press time but the Glacier Kings outshot the Islanders 20-12 in the first period, so obviously came ready to play.  They were leading 2-1 after the first period and 5-2 after the second before providing an insurance marker in the third to seal the 6-2 win.

Game 7 in this series goes Saturday night in Comox.

Meanwhile Game 6 in the first round series between Peninsula and Oceanside goes Friday night at Peninsula, with the Panthers a win away from advancing over the Generals.  The Generals have fought back from a 3-0 series deficit however, so it can be anyone’s game. Should a game seven of that series be needed, it will go Sunday afternoon in Parksville.

The Braves now await the highest seeded winner of the two remaining series, while the Victoria Cougars, beneficiaries of a bye in the first round, will play the lowest seeded winner in the VIJHL semi-finals.

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