Cougars Down Braves, Violette Doesn’t Make It Easy

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Story: Jordan Smith, Photo: Nathanael Laranjeiras ISN

Last night was the 6th meeting between the cross-town rivals. Victoria taking 3 of 5 previous.
The story of the Braves this season has been interesting. Starting out the year as what could arguably be the best team in the league to start, then becoming one of the worst, only to rebound as of late and look really good. Saanich took the first two games of the year versus Victoria. Both at Pearkes. Since then the Cougars have now won 4 straight.Anderson Violette, one half of the blockbuster trade that saw the Cougars acquire Cam leSergent, was unreal last night. Despite the loss he posted 41 saves and was the best player on the ice for both teams. That says something as the Cougars played a complete game (even with taking a few bonehead penalties) and looked solid for most of the 60 minutes. That is a stark contrast to a week ago when the Wolves chewed on the Kittens of Victoria.

Story: Jordan Smith, Photo: Nathanael Laranjeiras ISN
Story: Jordan Smith, Photo: Nathanael Laranjeiras ISN

The first period saw the Cougars outshoot the Braves 16-7 and head to the locker-room tied at 0’s. The score could have easily been 3-0 after 1. Violette stood tall and the Cougars didn’t make it look easy.

The Cougars continued their dominance of the puck in the 2nd too. But Zach Guerra decided to throw a wrench in the works by scoring very much against the flow of the game to send the Braves into the intermission up 1-0.

Things started to look up for the boys in Cougars red when Mateo Albinati scored his first goal since November 8th. After missing most of November and all of December the Cougars power forward finally found the back of the net again in his third game after injury. This could lead to some interesting races to the top of the scoring charts as his still sits 6th in scoring and is only 7 points back after missing 10 games with a broken finger.

Story: Jordan Smith, Photo: Nathanael Laranjeiras ISN
Story: Jordan Smith, Photo: Nathanael Laranjeiras ISN

Ryan Okino grabbed his second goal of the year to put Victoria up 2-1 with about 8 minutes to go. Both his and Albinati’s goals were take out the trash goals. Nothing pretty at all. That’s the only way Violette was going to be beat on this night. Weird bounces and scrambles in the crease.
With the net empty late the Cougars were able to add to empty net goals from LeSergent and Ewert.

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