Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
October 18, 2013, Saanich, BC (ISN) – The Westshore Wolves scored five second period goals en route to a 7-1 win over the Saanich Braves in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) action Friday night at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
The Wolves, who led 1-0 after the first period thanks to a goal from defenceman Kevin Massy, broke things open early in the second when Brett Lervold would score his first of two, just 15 seconds into the period while on the power play, taking advantage of a strange bounce to squeak the puck past Braves starter Jordan Werezak.
The Braves Jack Rachwalski looks for an opening while the Wolves Jesse Nixon and Braves Scott Henderson look on (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
They would add to that lead at the 4:57 mark, again on the power play, when Braedon Behan would take a great cross ice pass from Kyle Peterson and bury a one-timer past Werezak for the 3-0 lead.
Just four minutes later, the Wolves would strike again, this time with Clay Carson connecting. Lervold would be sent in all alone on a break that Werezak would stop, however Lervold picked up the rebound, circled around the net and found an uncovered Carson who tapped an easy one past an out of position Werezak.
Westshore’s Matt Chester would make 16 first period saves and 33 in total, to spark his team to a 7-1 win against Saanich Friday evening (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
That would spell the end of the night for Werezak and he was replaced between the pipes for Saanich by back-up Matt Rud.
Things did not get any better for the Braves, as shortly after the goalie switch, the Wolves rang a shot off the post and then just seconds later, at the 9:51 mark, Lervold broke in alone and fired a shot past Rud to up the lead to 5-1.
Despite his best efforts, Saanich Captain Sam McMullen could not get his team on the scoreboard until the third period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Those four goals in 10 minutes then spelled the end of the period for the Saanich defence, as in order to send a message to his team, Head Coach Brad Cook would bench all six defensive starters for the remainder of the period, going instead with forwards like Sam McMullen and Nick Guerra on the back end.
Brett Lervold would score a pair of goals and have two assists to lead the Wolves to a 7-1 win over Saanich on Friday evening (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Fortunately at least one forward, Evan Badry, had some extensive minor hockey experience as a defenceman, and he along with a committee of others, while allowing another goal in the period – one by the Wolves Connor Krupa – managed to escape without too much additional damage, but trailing 6-0 nonetheless.
Saanich’s James Sneddon tries to flip the puk past a forechecking Kevin Massy during Friday night’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Early in the third, the Braves would finally solve Wolves starter Matt Chester – who to that point had stopped all 24 Brave shots, including 16 in the first period – when Hunter Atchison would swoop in off the left side of the net and surprise Chester with a short-side goal, just 2:47 in.
Saanich’s Hunter Atchison, here battling Westshore’s Wyatt Oickle for position after a faceoff, would score the lone Saanich goal in their 7-1 loss to the Wolves (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
With that goal, many of the Braves hopeful in the crowd began to wonder if the Braves, like they did twice previously to the Wolves in Friday night games at Pearkes, would mount yet another dramatic comeback, however it was not to be on this night, as Behan would add his second goal of the night at the 9:06 mark to put the Wolves up 7-1 and close out the scoring for the evening.
Westshore’s Connor Krupa would score the Wolves 6th goal on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
With the win, the Wolves move to 8-7-1-1 on the season and sit in second place in the South Division with 18 points, 7 back of league leading Victoria. The loss drops the Braves to 5-8-1-0 on the year and they sit tied with Kerry Park for last in the South with 18 points.
Westshore’s Hobin Zinck carries the puck through the neutral zone during action against the Braves on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The three stars of the game were not announced, but Island Sports News will give them to:
1st Star: Brett Lervold, Westshore (2G, 2A)
2nd Star: Braedon Behan, Westshore (2G, 1A)
3rd Star: Matt Chester, Westshore (33 saves on 34 shots, including 16 in first period alone)
The teams will now gear up for a re-match next Wednesday, October 23rd, as the Braves will travel up the highway to Bear Mountain Arena in the next game for both sides. Game time is 7:00 pm.