First Period Proves Costly for Braves in Loss to Islanders

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

September 19, 2014, Saanich, BC (ISN) – The Saanich Braves fell behind 3-0 in the first period and after a bit of a comeback in the second, eventually fell 6-3 to the Kerry Park Islanders in VIJHL action Friday night at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.

Saanich’s Jordan Parmar (24) and Evan Horvath (15) both reach for a loose puck on this first period faceoff (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Braves started newcomer Brandon Ward between the pipes and the former Nanaimo Buccaneer was fine until the 9:14 mark of the first when the Islanders Adam Page came down the wing and snuck a shot by him for the first goal of the game.

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Saanich defenceman Elliott MacIsaac tries to fend off Kerry Park forward Keegan Bissett (12) during Friday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Just over a minute later and three seconds into a powerplay, the Islanders would strike again, winning the faceoff in the Braves end and having Cameron Nickerson slip one home to put the Isles up 2-0. The Islanders would score again in the last minute on a score from Tyson Malloch and take a 3-0 lead into the break.

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While he would not score on this wrap around attempt, Saanich’s Jack Rachwalski would earn an assist when Josh Poland (not pictured) would put the rebound past Kerry Park goaltender Ty Rennie for the Braves Second goal of the game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Braves would regroup in the second and at 15:29 Evan Horvath would score his first of two on the night to get the Braves on the board. Horvath’s shot trickled through the pads of Islanders starter Ty Rennie and just snuck across the line.

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Saanich Captain Dayne Ellison celebrates the Braves third goal during the second period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Isanders would respond less than a minute later with a goal from Zack Smith, but Saanich goals from Josh Poland at 17:59 and the second by Horvath at 19:33 would pull the Braves within one at the break.

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Saanich’s Nyshan Basra would have a pair of assists on the night for the Braves (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The third period was evenly played for the most part, but both goalies kept things tight until the 11:38 mark when Nick Kean would score a powerplay goal for the Islanders to put them up 5-3. The Braves battled hard, outshooting the Islanders 14-10 for the period but they could not solve Rennie and when Nickerson scored his second of the game into an empty net with 1:09 left, that would be the game.

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Saanich’s Evan Horvath (15) would lead the Braves with a pair of goals Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The loss was the Braves fifth in a row on the young season (one in overtime), and including the playoffs last season, marks the 22nd in a row for the struggling team, who are desperately trying to find a way to win.

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Kerry Park’s Cody Short carries the puck out of his end during third period action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In his Braves debut, Ward stopped 25 of 30 shots in taking the loss. Rennie, stopped 26 of 29 in getting the win. The Braves were 0 for 5 on the powerplay while Kerry Park converted twice on seven opportunities.

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Saanich’s Cam MacKay carries the puck through the neutral zone during Friday’s action against Kerry Park (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The win moves the Islanders record to 3-2 on the year and they sit third in the South, four points back of first place Westshore and one point back of the second place Cougars.

Next up for the Braves is a road game against the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Thursday September 25th and a return home to Pearkes Arena on Friday the 26th when they host the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Puck drop next Friday is 6:30 pm.

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Kerry Park’s Braeden Cross would lead all scorers with 4 points on Friday, all on assists, in the win against the Braves (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Game Notes: Kerry Parks Lynden Eddy and Saanich’s Kurtis Couborn engaged in a third period fight and hit the showers early for their efforts. The Braves made three roster moves prior to the game, releaseing forwards Mike Affleck and Kyle Speding and goaltnder Nick Dueck. The Braves also acquired goaltender Ward from the Nanaimo Buccaneers and defenceman Coburn and forward Ryan Friesen from the Sicamous Eagles. Kerry Park’s Braeden Cross finished with 4 assists on the evening. Nyshan Basra had a 2 point night with a pair of assists for the Braves.

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