Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
December 14, 2012, Saanich, BC (ISN) – A three-goal second period was all the Saanich Braves would need as they hung on to defeat the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 3-2 Friday night in VIJHL action at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
The win capped off a festive evening in which the Braves honored their player’s Moms and billet Moms in a pre-game ceremony at centre ice.
Saanich Goaltender Tanner McGaw and the rest of his Braves teammates took time prior to Friday’s game to honour their Moms, billet Moms and girlfriends in a rose ceremony at centre ice (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
This being the first meeting of the year between the two teams, the first period seemed to be a bit of a “feeling out” period for both sides, with Comox controlling a good portion of the play and outshooting the Braves 15-13.
Comox’s Jordan Crisp puts a move on Saanich’s Josh McGladery during first period action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Both the Braves starting goaltender Tanner McGaw and Comox’s Michael Hails were up to the task though, stopping everything they saw and sending the teams to the first intermission tied at zeroes.
In the second period, the Braves would capitalize on a Comox mistake, as Sam Johnston would sweep in behind the Comox defence to pick up a loose puck and score a breakaway goal at the 2:37 mark to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
Former Brave Andrew White (right) tries his best to contain Saanich’s Ty Jones during second period action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Bad luck would strike Comox again in similar fashion at the 14:02 mark, when Shawn McBride would take a nice pass from Garrett Kemmler and break in alone on Hails, sniping a shot up high to give the Braves 2-0 lead.
Saanich’s Shawn McBride would make no mistake on this second period breakaway shot, hitting the top corner to give Saanich a 2-0 lead (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Braves would then threaten to break it open just 29 seconds later, when Max Mois would spot Justin Polischuk driving hard to the net and zip a beautiful cross-crease pass that Polischuk simply tipped up and in to give the Braves a commanding 3-0 lead.
Saanich’s Max Mois would have an assist on the Braves third and game winning goal on Friday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Despite finishing with 19 shots in the period, that would be all the scoring the Braves would do in the period however and they took their 3-0 lead into the break.
The Glacier Kings would finally break the ice just over five minutes into the period and get a bit of a lucky break, as the Brave’s Liam Sproule would block an initial point shot, with the puck bouncing off of him and onto the stick of Comox’s Tyson Rennie, who would beat McGaw to make it 3-1.
Comox’s Sasha Hahn looks for a way around Saanich’s Shawn McBride during second period action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Assisting on the goal was the Glacier Kings Andrew White, who was recently acquired from the Braves and was playing his first game against his old teammates since the trade.
After that, the teams would play a close-checking game, limiting each other’s shots on goal (10-9 for Comox overall), but the Glacier Kings would make it close, pulling their goalie and getting a marker from Jack Kennelly with 20 seconds remaining to make it 3-2.
Saanich’s Tanner McGaw would stop 34 of 36 shots to get the win and first star honours against Comox Friday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
That would be as close as they would come however and the Braves escaped with the one-goal victory, sending their Mom’s home happy.
With the win, the Braves move to 21-4-2 and sit in second place in the south behind the first place Cougars who were 6-1 winners over Peninsula Friday.
Teammates just a few games ago, Comox’s Andrew White (on ice) and Saanich’s Sam Johnston renewed acquaintances at the end of the game on Friday evening (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Glacier Kings, who have now lost six in a row, drop to 11-15-2 and sit in third place in the north, eight points ahead of fourth place Campbell River, who gained some ground Friday with a 4-3 win over Kerry Park.