Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
January 13, 2013, Parksville, BC (ISN) – Saanich’s Nick Guerra and Victoria’s Nathan Chen-Mack each scored a pair of goals to lead the South over the North 9-6 in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s Annual Prospects Game on Sunday afternoon at Oceanside Place in Parksville.
The game, held in advance of the 2013 VIJHL All-Star Classic, featured some of the best pond hockey you will see on the Island, as both teams seemed to be under strict orders to not to body check anyone and along with a 4-on-4 format to begin the game, this allowed for some free-wheeling hockey to be played.
Victoria’s Nathan Chen-Mack would score his first goal on this penalty shot on Oceanside goaltender Alex Mastrdonato during the VIJHL Prospecta game Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Getting the start in net for the South was the Panther’s Stephen Heslop, while for the North it would be Oceanside’s Alex Mastrodonato. Both were put to the test early, as the North’s Garrett Dunlop of the Nanaimo Buccaneers would score his first of two in the game to put the North up 1-0 just five minutes in. At the other end, just a minute later, Chen-Mack would bury a penalty shot past Mastrodonato to even the score 1-1.
Saanich’s Nick Guerra (left) and Victoria’s Nathan Chen-Mack (right) would score two goals each to lead the South to their 9-6 win in the VIJHL Prospects Game Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
From there, the South would begin to take control and Guerra would score his two goals, the first with about 20 minutes remaining in the period, the second with about 8 remaining, the latter coming on a breakaway.
While Oceanside’s James Sneddon would respond with a bullet shot past Heslop to make it 3-2 with about five minutes remaining, Kerry Park’s Jordan Coyne would score with just over a minute left and Victoria’s Dane Feeney would score just before the buzzer to give the South a 5-2 lead heading into the break.
Nanaimo’s Garrett Dunlop would pace the North with 2 goals in the VIJHL Prospect game Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The South would add to their lead just two minutes into the second half, when Peninsula’s Nathan Looysen, would make a nifty move to sneak one past North goaltender Riley Medves who came in to relive Mastrodonato. They would push that lead to 7-2 just two minutes later when Chen-Mack notched his second of the game.
Oceanside’s James Sneddon would fire this bullet past Peninsula goaltender Stephen Heslop during the first period of the Prospects Game on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The North then decided to make a game of it again, striking for three consecutive goals on South goaltender Alec Dillon, the first by Dunlop (his second), the second from Comox’s John Gosbee and the third from Campbell River’s Colin Blake.
Nanaimo goaltender Riley Medves makes a save off Westshore’s Spencer Preece during the VIJHL Prospects Game Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
With the score now 7-5, the South put a quick end to any thoughts of a comeback by the North, with goals from Saanich’s Shawn McBride and then Westshore’s Spencer Preece to up the lead to 9-5.
Campbell River’s Mikey Marklund would score again for the North in the last minute, but that would be as close as the North would come, as the South headed home with the 9-6 win.
Westshore goaltender Alec Dillon would stop this chance by Comox’s Sheldon Brett in the VIJHL Prospects Game Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
MVP Honours for the game went to Campbell River’s Markland for the North and to Victoria’s Robert Zadra for the South.