Wolves Use Home Ice Advantage (Finally) for First Win

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

September 23, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Playing their first game at The Q Centre of the 2015-2016 season, the Westshore Wolves received a pair of goals from 16-year old Tanner Sidaway to skate to a 2-1 win over the Kerry Park Islanders in Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) action Wedensday night in Colwood.

Tanner Sidaway would snap this shot home for his first of two goals of the game, giving the Wolves a 1-0 lead early in the second period Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Wolves, like their BCHL Junior A counterparts, the Victoria Grizzlies, have been absent from The Q Centre, their normal home rink, for the past month, thanks to the Victoria Shamrocks Mann Cup appearance and win, as well as the Kraft Hockeyville NHL game between the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks. Wednesday night’s game was the first of the season for either team at the rink, which save for a few Kraft Hockeyville signs, is back to its usual look with the Grizzlies logo at centre ice.

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Marshall Brown heads in on a second period breakaway, but would fail to score on the Islanders Ty Rennie (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Wolves seemed to enjoy being back in their home den, outshooting the Islanders 9-3 over the first period, thanks to a pair of powerplay chances, but were unable to put anything past Kerry Park goaltender Ty Rennie who made some big saves to keep the score tied 0-0.

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The Wolves Tanner Sidaway looks to make a pass in the first period of Wednesday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

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The Wolves Kayden Peck cruises into the Kerry Park end on this second period scoring chance (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

At the other end, Wolves starter Leighton Williams, who played for the Islanders last season, was only challenged three times by his former teammates.

The Wolves picked up the pace early in the second period and after Rennie stopped the Wolves Marshall Brown on a breakaway, Sidaway would strike at the 5:07 mark, also on a breakaway, snapping a pretty shot over Rennie after sneaking in behind the Kerry Park defence and getting a nice setup pass from Tyson Malloch.

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The Wolves Cory Hatcher (right) and Nicholas Polomark (left) head toward the net during second period action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

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Kerry Park defenceman Josiah Nadon clears the puck from behind his net during the third period Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The teams would battle evenly over the rest of the period until the 17:26 mark when Sidaway would strike again, this time banging in a rebound of a point shot from Cameron Kinsman.

In the third, the Islanders regrouped a bit and finally found a gap in the armour of Williams at the 14:22 mark when a powerplay point shot from Lynden Eddy would deflect up into the top corner over Williams and cut the lead to 2-1.

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The Islanders Keenan Eddy looks for a way around Wolves defender Stephen Stiliadis (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Islanders would continue to press and with the clock winding down, would pull Rennie for the extra attacker, but a big leg save from Williams with just under 20 seconds to play, would preserve the first win of the season for the Wolves.

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Kerry Park’s Keegan Bisset carries the puck into the Wolves end during Wednesday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

With that win, the Wolves move to 1-4 on the season and into a tie with Kerry Park, also at 1-4, for fourth in the South Division behind the 3-3 Peninsula Panthers.

The Wolves will look to continue their winning ways on Thursday when they travel to Nanaimo to face the Buccaneers, while Kerry Park will look to regroup on Saturday night when they host the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in Mill Bay.

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Westshore’s Nicholas Polomark (14) tries to control the puck just prior to being checked by a sliding Lyndon Eddy of Kerry Park (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Game Notes: Westshore outshot the Islanders 34-27. The Wolves had six power play chances, converting on one, while the Islanders only had a pair of odd man advantages, also converting on one. The Wolves are sporting new uniforms for the 2015-2016 season, moving from an all white home jersey, to one that features solid blue on the shoulders and a blue arm band with the players number in it.

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Kerry Park goaltender Ty Rennie makes a shoulder save, while defenceman Tanner Browne and Westshore’s Chase O’Keefe battle for position (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

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