ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Gavin Grewal scored the game winner midway through the third period to give the Saanich Braves a 2-1 win over the Victoria Cougars on Thursday night.
Victoria, which dropped its second straight game, now trails the South Island Division leading Braves by three points.
Kyle Mace opened the scoring at 6:34 of the second period after deflecting a Rowan Lougheed point shot past Anthony Ciurro.
Seven minutes later, the Cougars would tie the game when Jordan Passmore batted the puck out of midair for a sensational goal. After Tyler Pang’s shot from the blue line sailed high and wide, the puck bounced out to Passmore who showed fantastic hand-eye coordination.
Riley Mathieson, who made 26 saves for the win, was superb in between the pipes for Saanich.
There would be no scoring until the 11:29 mark of the third period when Grewal pounced on a loose puck and fired it through a screen.
Ciurro, who faced 25 shots, was pulled for an extra attacker with one minute and six seconds remaining.
The Cougars best chance while playing six-on-five came during a frantic goal mouth scramble. However, the six-foot-three, 218-pound Mathieson reached out with his mitt and smothered the puck to stop the play.
It was another lackluster effort from Victoria who was badly outplayed and outworked.
The Cougars went 0-for-3 with the man advantage; meanwhile, Saanich finished 0-for-2.
Brandon Fushimi was in the Braves lineup for only the second time this season. The former Victoria Royals forward showed good chemistry playing alongside Ted Brennan and Quinton Waitzner.
Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Christian Brandt and Mitchell Williams recorded two points apiece as the Campbell River Storm doubled up on the Nanaimo Buccaneers 4-2.
Next game for Victoria is Thursday, October 13 versus the Kerry Park Islanders. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.
BAYVIEW PLACE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st star, Gavin Grewal (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
2nd star, Riley Mathieson (Saves: 26, Save Percentage: .963)
3rd star, Jordan Passmore (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)