Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
November 14, 2012, Victoria, BC – Four unanswered goals in the third period broke open a 3-3 tie and led the Saanich Braves to a 7-3 win over the Westshore Wolves in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) action Wednesday night at Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria.
The game would start slowly for both teams, as despite the Braves outshooting the Wolves 12-10 in the first period, one could hear a pin drop in the eerily quiet confines of Bear Mountain Arena.
Westshore’s Brett Lervold looks for the tip in front of Saanich goalie Tanner McGaw during first period action Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
That would suddenly change with about three seconds left in the period when a Garrett Kemmler pass behind the Saanich net took an odd bounce off the end boards and on to the stick of the Wolves’ Kayle Ramsay, who fed it across to an unattended Kyle Richter for an easy tap in behind a surprised Saanich starter Tanner McGaw for the 1-0 Wolves lead.
Things were looking good for the Wolves when Travis Oickle beat Tanner McGaw with this deke in the first period to put Westshore up 2-1 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Braves would turn things on in the second period and Josh Gray would get his first of the night when he slipped one past Wolves goalie Alec Dillon at the 4:05 mark to tie things at 1-1.
A defensive miscue however just a minute later would lead to a Wolves 3-on-1 that was finished off by Travis Oickle who made a nice deke to beat McGaw, giving the lead back to the Wolves.
Westshore’s Brett Lervold would score the Wolves third goal in their game against Saanich Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Saanich would keep pressuring, ultimately outshooting Westshore 17-5 in the period, and would take a 3-2 lead on goals from Sam Johnston (at 9:16) and newcomer Brandon Story (at 11:37), before another defensive miscue allowed a Wolves 2-on-0 that saw Brett Lervold score to tie things up a 3-3.
While he would not score on this play, Saanich’s Josh Gray had a pair of goal on Wednesday to earn first star honours against the Wolves (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
That score would hold until the 3:55 mark of the third period when the Braves would make the Wolves pay on the power play, with Josh Gray banging home the rebound of a Garrett Kemmler shot for his second of the night to put the Braves up 4-3.
Saanich newcomer Brandon Story celebrates his first goal as a Brave with teammate Kevin Massy (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Just three minutes later, Saanich’s leading scorer Ty Jones would pick up a loose puck and make a nifty move to beat Dillon for the Brave’s fifth goal and just over a minute later Sam Johnston would charge in off the wing to beat Dillon five-hole to put the Braves in control 6-3.
Saanich’s Sam Johnston would score his second goal of the night on this hard charge off the wing (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Braves would continue to dominate the period and would reply again, once again on the power play, when Josh Gray would flip a slick backhand pass across the slot to a streaking Justin Polischuk who would tip it up and over Dillon with 5:03 left to play.
Despite a late Wolves power play, the Braves 7-3 lead would hold, giving them their 15th win of the year.
This slick flick pass from Saanich’s Josh Gray would find the stick of a streaking Justin Polischuk for the Braves 7th goal Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
With their 2 goals each, Josh Gray and Sam Johnston were named the 1st and 2nd stars of the game respectively for the Braves, while teammate Justin Polischuk, with a goal and two assists, took home third star honours.
Tanner McGaw stopped 19 of 22 shots for the win, while Alec Dillon stopped 32 of 39 shots in the loss. The Braves went 2 for 11 on the power play, while the Wolves came up empty on their six chances.
With a goal and two assists, Saanich’s Ty Jones kept pace in the VIJHL scoring race, but more importantly helped his team to a 7-3 win over the Wolves (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Next action for Saanich is Friday night when they host the Kerry Park Islanders at Pearkes Arena (puck drop 6:30 pm) while the Wolves will travel to Oceanside for a Saturday night match up with the Generals.