Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
Nakusp, BC (ISN) – Troy Philip had a pair of goals and Hayle Kincross had the third period game winner, as the Saanich Braves Midget Tier 4 hockey club defeated Whitehorse 6-3 to open the BC Hockey Midget Tier 4 Provincials in Nakusp, BC.
This was the opening game for both teams in the tournament and it showed, as both teams came out somewhat tentative and did not generate much in the way of scoring chances. When they did, the goaltenders, including Saanich’s Taylor Findlay, did their job, and the period ended with zeroes on the board.
At the start of the second period, the Braves successfully killed off the tail end of a penalty and shortly thereafter, a nice cross ice pass from Ben Tomley sprung Austin Hache in off the wing and he chipped a beauty over Whitehorse goalie Brett Skookum to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
Saanich goaltender Taylor Findlay got his first start in about six weeks and was solid, making a number of key saves for the Braves including this right leg save early in the first period (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
With 14:50 remaining in the period, Whitehorse would tie it up on a goal by James McGrath, but after the goal, they would take a needless penalty. On the ensuing power-play, Saanich Captain Troy Philip would make them pay, by completing a dandy end-to-end rush and beating Skookum to restore the Brave’s lead at 2-1.
Saanich’s Austin Hache would complete this rush with a goal to give Saanich a 1-0 lead (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
Whitehorse would continue to pressure however and with 5:45 remaining in the period, the Mustang’s Dominic Korn, perhaps inspired by the Philip goal, completed his own end-to-end rush with a shot past Findlay, once again knotting the score at 2-2.
The Braves would again respond quickly to the Whitehorse goal and just 1:48 later, Jeremy Dennett would cleanly win a faceoff back to defenceman Robbie Rhynas who blasted a shot past Skookum and the Braves re-took the lead 3-2.
Saanich Captain Troy Philip would score two goals, including one on this end-to-end rush in the second period to lead the Braves to a win (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
Saanich would then find themselves in deep penalty trouble at the end of the period, earning two minor penalties and a 10-minute misconduct, opening the door for Whitehorse to tie it up. However Saanich goaltender Findlay, playing for the first time in almost six weeks, would have none of it, making a sequence of four big saves in the last minute of the period to keep the Braves up by one heading into the break.
Saanich’s Ben Tomley fights his way through two Whitehorse defenders during Sunday night action (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
Findlay’s solid play would continue into the third, as just as the Braves completed their big penalty kill, a miscue by a Brave’s defenceman sprung a Whitehorse player in all alone. the player deked, but a great leg save by Findlay kept the Braves in the lead.
The Mustangs would eventually tie it up with 7:16 remaining as the Braves had trouble clearing their zone. The puck would eventually come to Mustang defenceman Korn at the point and he would blast a screen shot past Findlay to tie things at 3-3.
Saanich’s Adrian Gagliani prepares for a shot on net during third period action Sunday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
For the third time in the game however, the Braves would immediately respond to the Mustang goal a mere 12 seconds later, as Hayle Kincross would take a nifty pass from Nick Tumber and blast a shot off the post, but then bury his own rebound to put the Braves up 4-3.
Whitehorse would continue to pressure and with their goalie pulled, Saanich’s Kyle Murai (with 45 seconds left) and Troy Philip (with 10 seconds left) would score, icing the Braves 6-3 win.
Saanich’s Hayle Kincross would get the game winner with 7:06 remaining in the third period (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
Up next for the Braves on Monday are the Kelowna Rockets at 11:00 am and the host Nakusp Falcons at 8:00 pm.
Additional images from this game available at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/p89627774