Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
November 1, 2013, Saanich, BC (ISN) – After back-to-back wins against Westshore and Oceanside, the Saanich Braves took a step backwards Friday night, beginning the month of November by suffering a 5-2 loss to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in VIJHL action Friday night at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
The Braves were playing Friday without some key personnel, including Captain Sam McMullen (on a call-up to the Victoria Grizzlies) and shifty forward Nick Guerra (out with a hand injury suffered last week against Westshore).
Saanich’s Scott Henderson carries the puck wide around the check of Comox’s Liam Shaw during Friday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Also missing from the line-up were two casualties from last weekend’s brawl filled affair in Oceanside, as Trevor Parkhouse (concussion) and Dayne Ellison (starting a rumoured 8 game suspension for leaving the bench) were not dressed. Defenceman Liam Sproule is also still on the sidelines with injury and Garett Kemmler, while dressed, was apparently battling the flu and saw only spot duty for the Braves.
Comox’s Derian Hamilton navigates by the check of Saanich’s Josh Poland (right) and Hunter Atchison (left) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
With much of the veteran leadership for the Braves not in the lineup, the Glacier Kings would jump all over the rookie-laden lineup early, outshooting the Braves 15-4 in the first period and jumping out to a 1-0 lead, thanks to a howitzer slap-shot from Quinlan Moore at the 9:27 mark while on the powerplay.
Saanich’s Evan Horvath makes life difficult for Comox goalie Michael Hails during second period action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Braves would get that back early in the second period as James Sneddon would be rewarded for some hard work behind the net when he stuffed one in past Glacier King starter Michael Hails just 56 seconds into the period.
Comox’s Sheldon Brett is escorted to the penalty box by linesman Marko Casavant after a skirmish Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Glacier Kings would answer back at the 13:40 mark on a goal by Calvin Hadley and would take that 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
In the third, the Braves would tie things up on the powerplay as Sneddon would notch his second of the night at the 3:26 mark, with Comox’s Austin McNeil off for slashing.
Saanich’s Hunter Atchison moves the puck out of his end during third period action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Instead of that goal sparking the Braves on to the win, the exact opposite happened and it would be the Glacier Kings who would score three unanswered goals the rest of the way to get the win.
Brendyn Smyth scored first at the 9:42 mark, followed less than two minutes later by a goal from Sheldon Brett at 11:19. Hadley added his second goal of the night at the 14:47 mark to provide some insurance and put the game out of reach for the Braves.
Comox’s Duncan Pernal begins the rush out of his end during the third period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Comox goaltender Hails would get the win, facing just 15 shots in total on the night. For the Braves, Jordan Werezak, now winless in his last five starts, would stop 30 of 35 shots in taking the loss.
With the win, the Glacier Kings move to 11-8-0-1 on the year and sit in second place in the North Division just 5 points back of Nanaimo who were 5-4 winners over Campbell River on Friday.
Comox’s Sheldon Brett would have a goal and an assist Friday to help the Glacier Kings to the 5-2 win over the Braves (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Braves fall to 7-9-1-0 and sit in fourth in the South, 2 points up on idle Kerry Park and 4 back of Peninsula, who defeated Oceanside 4-1 Friday.
The week ahead is a busy one for the Braves, as they will gear up to host Kerry Park at home on Wednesday (7:30PM) and then face Campbell River in a home-in-home set on Friday at Pearkes (6:30 PM) and then again Saturday in Campbell River.
Saanich’s James Sneddon would score both of the Braves goals against Comox on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)