Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
October 10, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Mark Walton would score 17 seconds into the game and the Cougars would add 2 more goals in the third period to come away with a 3-1 win over the Saanich Braves Thursday evening at Archie Browning Arena in Esquimalt.
Walton would jam home a Michael Fretz rebound on the Cougar’s first rush of the game and it appeared that the Braves were going to be in for a long night, however despite facing 14 shots in total in that first period, Braves goaltender Jordan Werezak would hold the fort and that 1-0 lead would hold until the first intermission.
Saanich’s Josh Poland does his best to impede Victoria’s Michael Fretz during the Cougar’s 3-1 win Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
In a surprisingly quiet second period, the Cougars would outshoot the Braves 8-2, but neither team would score and the 1-0 lead carried into the third period.
The Braves, missing a number of key players with injury, struggled to put together some offence in those first two periods, registering just 6 shots in total on Victoria goaltender Nathan Hargrave. This despite having three powerplays, on which the Braves sorely missed the services of usual powerplay quarterback Garett Kemmler who was out with an injury.
Victoria’s Wade Johnson had a glorious breakaway opportunity during the first period Thursday but was turned aside by Saanich goalie Jordan Werezak (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island SPorts News)
In the third, the Cougars would take control of the game with a goal just one minute in from David Marshall, who would bang one past Werezak to put the Cougars up 2-0. They added to that lead at the 8:39 mark when Blake Roney would pot his 8th of the season, slipping a backhander into an open net after Werezak had made the initial save.
Saanich defenceman Chris Carpentier tries to move the Cougar’s Blake Roney from in front of goaltender Jordan Werezak during third period action Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Braves would come to life a bit in the period, generating 11 shots, but the powerplay continued to struggle, going 0 for 3 in the frame to finish 0 for 6 for the game.
On the plus side, winger Josh Poland broke Hargrave’s shutout bid at the 18:18 mark, rushing in off the left wing and putting a nice backhand by the Cougar goalie to put the Braves on the board.
Saanich’s Josh Poland would score the Braves only goal Thursday, spoling the shut-out bid of Cougar goalie Nathan Hargrave (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
That would be all the scoring however and the Cougars took the 3-1 win, their 11th of the season, keeping their perfect record intact.
With the loss, the Braves drop to 5-6 on the year and they now face the task of regrouping to face the North Division leading Nanaimo Buccaneers (10-1-0) at Pearkes Arena on Friday night.
Victoria Nicholas Bower tries to get past the poke check of Saanich defenceman Trevor Parkhouse during Thursday night’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)