By Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
December 27, 2012, Richmond, BC – Austin Hache’s breakaway goal in the second period turned out to be the game winner as the Saanich Midget AA Braves hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Spirit in the opening game of the Richmond International Christmas Hockey Tournament at the Richmond Ice Centre on Thursday.
The Braves jumped into an early 2-0 first period lead after goals from Quinn Miller and Noah Mullin and appeared well on their way to dominating the game after out-shooting Vancouver 15-3 in the opening frame.
The Spirit found their game however and scored early in the second period to close the gap to 2-1 before Hache scored his goal with 13:03 remaining to make it 3-1.
The Spirit would continue to battle and at the 4:07 mark of the third, would score again to make it 3-2, but despite a late powerplay, could not put another past Saanich netminder Jason Stewart who stopped 17 of 19 shots in total to come away with the win.
The Midget AA Braves play next on Saturday when they face the Prince George Cougars at 12:15 and then the Nanaimo Clippers at 6:00 pm.
Other Island teams participating in the 5-day tournament include the Saanich Midget B Braves, the Nanaimo A and B Clippers, the Juan de Fuca AA and B Grizzlies, and the Comox Valley AAA Chiefs. For all scores and standings visit the tournament website at http://midgethockeytournament.homestead.com/