Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
November 2, 2012, Saanich, BC (ISN) – Wearing their pink jerseys for their annual game to support breast cancer research, the Saanich Braves used four third period goals to take a 6-2 victory over the Westshore Wolves in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League action Friday night at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
Leading the way for the Braves were Ty Jones with a hat-trick and Justin Polischuk with a pair of goals, while newcomer Connor Cross scored his first of the year into an empty net.
Saanich’s Ty Jones (left) and Justin Polischuk (right) would lead the way, scoring three and two goals respectively in the Braves 6-2 win over Westshore on Friday (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Braves took control of the game early, outshooting the Wolves 14-8 in the first period and jumping out to a 2-0 first period lead on the strength of goals from Jones and Polischuk, the first on the powerplay and the second coming with 33 seconds left in the period.
However, as has been the case lately, penalty trouble allowed the Braves opposition to get back into the game, in this case when the Wolves would score powerplay markers at the 4:48 and 6:09 marks of the second period to knot the game up a 2-2. Spencer Preece and Kyle Richter were the goal scorers for the Wolves.
Westshore’s Dayne Ellison tries to make life difficult in front of the net for Saanich goaltender Tanner McGaw and defenceman Kevin Massy (Photo: Christian J. Stewart /Island Sports News)
The Braves would take a total of 26 minutes in penalties in that second period, and while the Wolves did outshoot the home side 12-9, it was a testament to an effective Braves penalty kill, and some key saves by goaltender Tanner McGaw, that it was not much worse.
In the third period, the even play continued and it was not until the 11:50 mark that the Braves, on the strength of Polischuk’s second goal, were able to solve Westshore netminder Alec Dillon and jump into a 3-2 lead.
Westshore goaltender Alec Dillon would stop this penalty shot attempt by Saanich’s Sam Johnston in the second period (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Braves would add another at the 17:34 (Jones from Kevin Massy and Polischuk) to make it 4-2 and shortly thereafter, Wolves head coach Vic Gervais would pull goaltender Dillon for the extra attacker, however the Braves’ Connor Cross would hit the back of the net at the 18:10 mark to make it 5-2, effectively putting the game away for the Braves.
In the final minute the Wolves Travis Oickle would take a penalty, which gave Jones the opportunity to complete his hat-trick, making the final 6-2 for the Braves.
Saanich’s Ty Jones celebrates his third goal of the evening near the end of the Braves 6-2 win over the Westshore Wolves on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
At the completion of the game, the Braves’ players stripped their jerseys off their backs and gave them to the lucky winners who had bid on them during the game in a silent auction. All proceeds from the jersey auction, as well as other fundraising activities during the evening will go to the Island Breaststrokers association in their support of the fight against breast cancer.
Saanich’s Sam Johnston prepares to give his jersey to a lucky bidder at the end of Friday’s game against Westshore (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Game Notes: Jones also had 2 assists on the night to improve his season point total to 37, good enough for 3rd place in the VIJHL scoring race. The Braves used 4 AP’s in Friday night’s game including Andrew Bushby, Grayden Hohl and Scott Henderson from Saanich’s Midget AA team and Connor Birmingham from Juan de Fuca’s Midget AA team. Tanner McGaw stopped 24 of 26 shots for the win. Alec Dillon stopped 31 of the 36 shots he faced in the losing effort.