Braves earn split

Saanich blanks Peninsula 4-0 after opening season with a 4-3 to the Panthers

The Saanich Braves bounced back from a season-opening loss to finish on the front foot with a 4-0 shutout win over the Peninsula Panthers at Pearkes Arena on Saturday (Sept. 5).

As the only South division teams in action last weekend, the Braves and Panthers (both 1-1) are tied for the lead in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League south standings.

Goalie Brandon Ward took the loss in net on Friday, as the Braves fell 4-3 to the  Panthers at Panorama Rec Centre. Nick Kean, Cameron Kovesdi and rookie Drew Couglin scored for the Braves.

Goalie Riley Mathieson started in net on Saturday, a rare 5:30 p.m. start at Pearkes, and stopped all 16 shots he faced. Kovesdi led the way with two powerplay goals and an assist on Landon Walters’ first of the season. New captain Jack Rachwalski also scored his first. All four goals came in the first two periods on Saturday, as the Braves held on for the shutout.

Kovesdi is third in league scoring with three goals and two assists in the two games.

The Braves play Wednesday against the Westshore Wolves at the Q Centre and host the Wolves Friday, Sept. 11, 6:30 p.m. at Pearkes Arena. On Saturday, the team travels to Campbell River to face the Storm (2-0).