Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
September 27, 2013, Saanich, BC (ISN) – A powerplay goal by Nick Guerra at the 1:34 mark of the second overtime period – his second goal of the night – gave the Saanich Braves a 3-2 win over the Westshore Wolves in VIJHL action Friday night at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
The goal capped another unlikely comeback for the Braves, who – just like the home opener against the Wolves on September 6th – found themselves trailing heading into the third period, but found a way to come back and snatch a victory away from the Westshore squad.
Saanich Captain Sam McMullen looks for some space to maneuver in the Westshore end during Friday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Braves, who are struggling to find some offensive chemistry, were coming off a 4-1 loss to Nanaimo on Thursday night, and things did not look great Friday either as a pair of second period goals from Connor Krupa and Braeden Behan would give the Wolves a 2-0 lead at the second intermission.
Westshore goalie Matt Chester looks past the screen from Saanich’s Jack Rachwalski Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
It seems however that all the Braves need to do to find that chemistry, is play the Wolves in the third periods of hockey games. In this one, Guerra would get the Braves on the board at the 8:04 mark, sliding his first goal of the night past Wolves goaltender Matt Chester. Just 14 seconds later, Hunter Atchison would pounce on a loose puck in front to notch his fifth of the season, and just like that the game was tied.
Saanich defenceman Garett Kemmler dives to make a pass during action against Westshore Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
It stayed that way for the remainder and through the first 4 on 4 overtime period, but near the end of that period, Westshore’s Tyler Smith nailed Atchison into the boards and was called for a head contact major that put the Braves on a 4-3 powerplay.
Saanich’s Quinn Miller carries the puck out of his zone Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
That powerplay would continue into the second OT period, and just over a minte and a half into it, Guerra picked up a loose puck in the corner, charged to the net and lifted a nifty shot up and over Chester from close in to give the Braves the exciting win.
Nick Guerra would be the hero, netting two goals including the 2OT winner in the 3-2 win over the Wolves Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
GAME NOTES: The win moves the Braves record to 4-4 while the Wolves drop to 4-5. Westshore outshot Saanich 42-28 with Saanich goalteder Jordan Werezak making 40 saves to get the win. The Braves featured a number of new faces in the line-up tonight, as Head Coach Brad Cook looks to fill gaps due to injury and to try and find scoring depth on the forward lines. Garett Kemmler added an assist on the night and remains the Braves leading scorer with 13 points. Sam McMullen and Nick Guerra sit tied for second with 10 points each.
Saanich’s Jordan Werezak would stop 40 of 42 shots to get the win in net Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)