by Peter Kung
December 19, 2013, Victoria (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars (25-5-1-1) host the Saanich Braves (10-18-1-1) tonight.
Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
Tonight marks the seventh of eight regular season meeting between these two South Island Division rivals.
It also marks the second to last game for Victoria before heading out on a 13-day long break for the Christmas holidays. The Cougars wind up the first half of the season this Saturday in Westshore.
Saanich plays host to Peninsula on Friday before returning back to action two days after Christmas against those same Panthers.
Through six games, the Cougars lead the season series 5-1-0-0 against the Braves despite a 2-0 debacle in their last meeting six days ago.
The game was scoreless until the third period when Jack Rachwalski and Sam McMullen scored for Saanich. Jordan Werezak, who was named the game’s first star, stopped all 22 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season.
Up to that point, Victoria had outscored the Braves 24-7.
Leading the way for the Cougars is Blake Roney who has five goals and two assists against Saanich this season.
Garett Kemmler is the top point getter for the Braves with five assists.
Against Saanich, Connor Beauchamp and Nathan Hargrave have split the goaltending duties.
Werezak has played all but one game against Victoria this season. Backup Matthew Rud took the loss Nov. 22 in an 8-2 drubbing.
Both teams enter tonight’s game on winning streaks.
The Cougars go for two in a row after beating Westshore 3-2 last Sunday. And after their 5-4 overtime win over the Wolves and 2-0 win over Victoria, the Braves look to extend its winning streak to a season-high three games.
A better team on the road than at home, Saanich is 6-7-0-0 playing away from the George R. Pearkes Community Recreation Centre and a dismal 4-11-1-1 there.
STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 52 points, South Island Division. Saanich – 5th place, 22 points, South Island Division
OFFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 4.75 goals for per game. Saanich – 8th place, 2.53 goals for per game
DEFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 1.97 goals against per game. Saanich – 6th place, 3.93 goals against per game
TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Blake Roney, 22 goals; Graham Zagrodney, 34 assists; Blake Roney, 40 points; Jake Daughtry, 56 penalty minutes. Saanich – Sam McMullen, 14 goals; Garett Kemmler, 17 assists; Sam McMullen, 30 points; Jordan Groenheyde, 101 penalty minutes
GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Nathan Hargrave (1.83 goals against average, .920 save percentage); Connor Beauchamp (1.97 goals against average, .915 save percentage). Saanich – Jordan Werezak (3.46 goals against average, .902 save percentage); Matthew Rud (4.38 goals against average, .884 save percentage)
POWER PLAY: Victoria – 1st place, 54-for-204, 26.47 percent. Saanich – 8th place, 20-for-181, 11.05 percent
PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 2nd place, 140-for-154, 90.91 percent. Saanich – 5th place, 131-for-159, 82.39 percent
SEASON SERIES: Victoria leads, 5-1-0-0
PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:
- September 13, 2013. Victoria Cougars 3 @ Saanich Braves 2
- September 19, 2013. Saanich Braves 1 @ Victoria Cougars 5
- October 10, 2013. Saanich Braves 1 @ Victoria Cougars 3
- November 21, 2013. Saanich Braves 1 Victoria Cougars 5
- November 22, 2013. Victoria Cougars 8 @ Saanich Braves 2
- December 13, 2013. Victoria Cougars 0 @ Saanich Braves 2
- January 24, 2014. Victoria Cougars @ Saanich Braves
HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 15-1-0-0. Saanich – Away, 6-7-0-0
STREAKS: Victoria, W1. Saanich, W2
LAST TEN: Victoria, 8-2-0-0. Saanich, 3-7-0-0