Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
December 5, 2012, Saanich, BC (ISN) – Nick Guerra’s goal with 7:11 remaining turned out to be the game winner as the Saanich Braves defeated the Peninsula Panthers 3-2 Wednesday night in VIJHL action at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
The Braves, who have added three new faces to the lineup over the past week, took awhile to develop some chemistry in this game, as the Panthers employed an effective forecheck in the first period to stymie the Brave attack and create offence for themselves, outshooting the Braves 17-9 and scoring twice to take a 2-1 lead into the first break.
Saanich’s Seamus Maguire carries the puck out of his end in the first period Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Scoring for Peninsula were Will Finlay and Daniel Welch (on the powerplay), while Sam McMullen would respond for the Braves.
In the second, the Braves would outshoot Peninsula 14-7, but were kept off the board by the Panther’s Stephen Heslop, until hard-working Josh McGladery would leap on to a loose puck in front of the net and put it in to tie the game with 3:11 remaining.
Saanich’s Josh McGladery would tie the game 2-2 on this goal in the second period (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Peninsula’s Reece Costaine flys through the neutral zone in Wednesday’s game with Saanich (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The teams would continue to play a close checking game in the third, with the Braves outshooting Peninsula 9-7, but it would be Guerra playing hero when he skated through the slot, caught Heslop leaning to one side and scooped the puck into the open net to give the Braves the lead.
Saanich’s Nick Guerra celebrates his game winning goal Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The rest would be up to Brave starter Tanner McGaw who shut the door the rest of the way, including a couple of chances with the Panther’s goaltender pulled, to preserve the win for the Braves.
Recently acquired Max Mois, obtained from Westshore, made his debut for the Braves Wednesday, while newcomers Chad Roorda and Nolan Kinney also saw action. Tanner McGaw stopped 29 of 31 shots for the win, while Heslop stopped 29 of 32 for the Panthers in the loss.
Max Mois, recently acquired from Westshore, made his Brave’s debut Wednesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Garrett Kemmler (3rd), Nick Guerra (2nd) and Sam McMullen (1st) (with a goal and an assist) were named the three stars.
The Braves are back in action Friday night at Pearkes arena when they host the Oceanside Generals. Puck drop is at 6:30 pm.
Garrett Kemmler had a strong game for Saanich and was named the game’s third star (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)