Captain Nick Guerra of the Saanich Braves.

Captain Nick Guerra of the Saanich Braves.

Braves look to make ground on sub .500 teams

New and returning players bring depth to Saanich Braves

Even when things are going as well as they are with the Saanich Braves, there’s always room for a little bit more.

The second-place Braves, 17-5-1, are at the Q Centre tonight against the Westshore Wolves.

Puck drop is 7 p.m.

Although the Braves sit a couple wins outside of first place in the South division, they aren’t worried. They have three games in hand on the first-place Victoria Cougars, and all the confidence in the world they can retake first, and then some.

Tonight is the first of a series of games against teams below Saanich in the standings, a time to make ground, said captain Nick Guerra, who leads the league in scoring with 30 goals and another 22 assists in 24 games.

“The Wolves are much harder in their rink, they’ve come off some big wins and we have to take them seriously,” Guerra said.

Friday and Saturday, the Braves play a home-and-home against the Peninsula Panthers starting at Pearkes.

“We’ve talked about it a lot, that in the first part of the schedule we played a lot of games against top teams, we played Victoria [18-6-0] five times already,” Guerra said. “It’s a good time to build separation in the standings.”

In six of the Braves’ eight games in December they’ll face Westshore ( twice, Peninsula three times and Kerry Park once.

And while the offensively gifted Guerra, in particular, has feasted on the Panthers this year, picking up 10 goals and four assists against his North Saanich rivals, there is a lot more depth to the Braves.

This season Braves’ coach-general manager Brad Cook has had one of those “good problems,” with former players looking to return, and other players around B.C.’s junior B circuit happy to come, should they be invited (by trade or other).

Evan Horvath, who played the last three seasons with the Braves, returned to the team from a stint in Europe and has helped establish a second scoring line with Brandon Fushimi and Scott Henderson. Fushimi started with the fourth line when he returned to the Braves but the former Victoria Royals player now has 17 points in 15 games, while Henderson has 21 points and Horvath is a point-per-game though his first nine.

You have to expect returning and new players to show up, and to create a healthy competition for spots in the lineup, Guerra said. It’s something Guerra’s been through at the junior A level, when he was traded away from the Nanaimo Clippers during a winning season.

Brad’s looking for the right chemistry, and for the most part we have that right chemistry,” Guerra said. “It brings in some more depth and with more forward guys, there is a healthy competition as it’s harder to get in the lineup.”

The team’s newest addition, Eric Tigges, potted three assists in the Braves’ 6-2 win over Kerry Park Islanders on Friday. Tigges came to the team from the 100 Mile House Wranglers, which are second place in their KIJHL division (13-5-3).

Sixteen year old rookie Ted Brennan has also come on lately. Brennan has five points in the last three games.

“He’s much more confident and dangerous since he played as a [recent] call up with the Kelowna Rockets agains the Royals,” Guerra said.

Puck drop Friday is 6:30 p.m. at Pearkes, and then again Saturday night, 7:30 p.m. at Panorama.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

A rendering shows what the Doral Forest Park development would look like from the southwest. (Rendering via D’AMBROSIO Architecture & Urbanism)
Beaver Lake area project passes next hurdle in Saanich

Council approval for 242-unit parks edge development hinges on meeting of conditions

Police are looking for witnesses and video footage after a crash on June 18. (Photo courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP looking for videos related to Corvette crash

Driver believed to have fled the scene of View Royal crash

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Greater Victoria with unusually high temperatures expected Monday and this coming weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria’s first week of summer will be a scorcher

Special weather statement issued Monday by Environment Canada

Central Saanich has rejected plans for a pilot project that would allow food trucks in Centennial Park. (Black Press Media file photo)
Central Saanich puts brakes on food truck pilot project

Coun. Carl Jensen questions Central Saanich’s consistency

Construction will begin soon on a building in Victoria designed for families and seniors with low to moderate household incomes. (Black Press Media file photo)
New building in Victoria aimed at providing more affordable homes for families, seniors

Four-storey building will provide 58 homes for residents with low to moderate household incomes

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

By the end of life, the average North American has eaten the weight of a family sedan in sugar. (Pixabay.com)
FITNESS: Living the sweet life without too much sugar

Simple choices can have a major impact on your health

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Most Read