Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
November 26, 2014, Saanich, BC (ISN) – Nyshan Basra had a hat-trick and Evan Horvath had a goal and an assist to lead the Saanich Braves to a decisive 6-1 win over the Oceanside Generals in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) action Wednesday night at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
Saanich’s Nyshan Basra (12) had a hat-trick to lead the Braves to a 6-1 win over Oceanside on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Also scoring for the Braves, who, with the win, snapped a five-game losing streak, were Cameron Mackay and Jordan Parmar. Josh Harvey replied for the Generals. Brandon Ward stopped 23 of 24 shots to get the win in net for the Braves, while his counterpart, David Anderson, stopped 30 of 36 in the losing effort.
The win improves the Braves record to 8-14-04 and they move to within 2 points of idle Kerry Park for third in the South Division. The Generals fall to 5-21-1-0 and they are 1 point back of Peninsula for last overall in the VIJHL.
Oceanside’s Jonah Pearson (9) tries to avoid the clutches of Saanich forward Cam Mackay during first period action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Basra, the Braves leading scorer (15G, 11A), is heating up at the right time for Saanich and now has seven goals and two assists in his last four games. He had one previous hat-trick this season in a game October 17th against the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
Basra’s first goal of the night, was a pretty one and resulted directly from a beautiful pass on a 2-on-1 from Midget AA Brave call-up Calem Brassard. Basra took the pass and slid the puck between Anderson’s pads to give the Braves a 1-0 lead 6:18 into the first.
Saanich Captain Dayne Ellison (right) battles for position with Oceanside defender Chandler Bruyckere (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Just 41 seconds later, as Oceanside’s Gibson Doney sat in the penalty box for roughing, the Braves powerppay went to work, with Basra scoring again to make it 2-0 Saanich.
The Generals would get that back before the period was out, as Josh Harvey would snap one short-side on Ward at the 14:27 mark to get the Generals on the board.
After a close-checking scoreless second period, the Braves blew things open in the third with four goals en route to the win. Towering forward Cam Mackay got things going for the Braves just 19 seconds into the frame when he was the benefactor of a juicy rebound that he banged into an empty net to make it 3-1.
Saanich’s Cameron Kovsdi tries to slide by an unknown General’s defender (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
A breakaway goal by Evan Horvath at the 2:35 mark and Basra’s third of the game at 12:26 made it 5-1, before another power play marker, this time by Jordan Parmar, just his second of the season, rounded out the Braves scoring.
The game was a nice bounce back game for the Braves, as well as Saanich goaltender Brandon Ward, who came into the contest having surrendered 22 goals in his last three-and-a-half games. While he was not severely challenged on the 24 shots he faced, he was solid when he needed to be, getting the win and snapping his four game losing streak.
Saanich goaltender Brandon Ward had a bit of trouble here, thanks to a screen by Oceanside’s Logan Savard, but saw well enough to stop 23 of 24 shots to get the win Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Thirteen different players also had points in Wednesday’s win. In addition to big performances by Basra and Horvath, Jack Rachwalski had a pair of assists, with other helpers going to Brassard, Evan Badry, Dayne Ellison, Cameron Kovesdi, Conner Allan, Alex Schlueter, Ben Meek and Scott Henderson.
Saanich’s Seamus Maguire (right) battles for a face-off with Oceanside’s Keanu Gallegos (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
That momentum and team scoring will be important moving forward for the Braves, as they now face the first place Victoria Cougars in their next two games, the first this Friday at Pearkes (6:30) and the second on Thursday, December 4th when they travel to Archie Browning (7:00). The Braves then meet the steadily improving Peninsula Panthers at Pearkes Arena on Friday December 5th, for their annual Pink in the Rink game (6:30 pm).
Saanich’s Alex Schleuter (19) controls the puck in the neutral zone during Wednesday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Game Notes: Oceanside seems to be a good cure for what ails the Braves. The last time the Generals visited Pearkes, the Braves won 6-2 to break a 26-game losing streak that extended into last season. Nick Guerra (call-up to Jr.A Clippers), Garrett Stankoven (unknown), Quinn Miller (unknown) and Mackenzie Valentine (unknown) were not in the Braves line-up Wednesday. Braves forward Hunter Atchison has been returned to the club from the BCHL Trail Smoke Eaters after an extended call-up. Atchison has played in 9 games for the Smokies with 2 goals and an assist.