By Junior Reporter Mike Beelby
December 5, 2012, Saanich BC – The Saanich Braves are at a high point in the season right now, earning points in 12 of their last 13 games, but at an all-time low in injuries and have made a number of recent roster moves to fill the voids and gear up for the second half of the season.
The Braves defense is particularly hard hit and has been without the services lately of Andrew White, Jordan Groenheyde, Tom Dakers, Brandon Parmar and Liam Sproule, who is in the midst of a five game suspension, but who is also nursing an injured shoulder.
The Braves are half-way through the regular season and sit at 19-4-1, which places them second among all of British Columbia’s Junior B teams, but to stem the injuries and fill the gaps, the Braves have made some key roster moves.
First and foremost, the Braves got lucky, as they picked up former Brave Chad Roorda, who has tons of Junior A expeirence and who also played previously under head coach Brad Cook. Roorda stands 6’4 and weighs 195 lbs. “Roords” played 78 games at the Junior ‘A’ level and made an impact with the Grande Prairie Storm as he was their Unsung Hero last season. Chad tallied 2 goals and 5 assists with the Storm and had 82 penalty minutes in 50 games. Chad has a cannon from the point and the Braves hope to utilize that this year, especially on the powerplay. Chad also has a physical side which will be needed come the playoffs.
Chad was excited to be back with the Braves, “it felt good to finally get back out on the ice for a game. The team’s looking good. With the players that Brad added over the weekend, we should have a real strong team moving forward.”
As Roorda is a 20-year old, the Braves had to release an existing 20-year old and unfortunately the short straw fell on Andrew White, who was traded to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings for future prospects. Head Coach Cook said this was a tough decision, “We didn’t want to trade “Whitey” but we had to do something to make room for Chad. Andrew was a great addition to our team and I personally want to thank-him for his work here over the past two years and wish him nothing but success with Comox and in his hockey career.”
With the Braves raw skill up front, another dynamic player that will be a force for the Braves is Max Mois, a strong forward with a fabulous skill-set who was also just acquired from the Westshore Wolves for future considerations. Mois was definately the Wolves “go-to” guy and should be a force with the Braves. Max is from Prince George, and is the third ‘PG’ native on the Braves, as Sam McMullen grew up there and Braves back-up goalie Bowman Rutledge also played with Max. Last season Mois played for the Nelson Leafs and put up solid numbers, with 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points in 44 games. This season his numbers have improved and so has his game. He has 19 goals and 18 assists in 24 games and has a point per game average of 1.5. “I’m happy to be a Brave and a part of a winning organzitation and I’m looking forward to making a long run this year” was Max’s statement after the trade.
The Braves have also recently acquired Nolan Kinney from Kerry Park and he should provide the Braves with more grit and passion in the forward ranks. The 6’3″ Kinney is from Delta, BC and played Major Midget the past two seasons, earning 18 points (11 goals & 7 assists) in 79 games, and a goal and an assist in 6 games in the post-season. This year Kinney signed in the offseason with the Islanders where he played 13 games and scored 5 goals and earned a pair off assists. The grittiness of Kinney also showed as he tallied 39 penalty minutes.
All of the Brave’s recent acquisitions should be in the line-up Wednesday night as they face the Peninsula Panthers at 7:30 pm at Pearkes Arena.