Saanich Braves take 3-2 lead in VIJHL final, one win from title

Braves win 5-4 in Campbell River, return to Saanich on Friday

Riley Mathieson stopped 47 of 51 shots on Tuesday to push the Braves within a win of the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy.

The VIJHL regular season MVP led his Saanich Braves to a 5-4 win in Game 5 over the Campbell River Storm. Saanich now owns a 3-2 series lead in the best-of-seven finals.

Down 3-1 in the second period, the game turned when Braves defenceman Elliot MacIssac fought Joe Gage. It was an old school move, but it worked, sparking the Braves to four straight goals despite the automatic game ejection for MacIsaac, the Braves’ top scoring defenceman.

“It’s not something you plan for, especially not your older, veteran defenceman,” said Braves coach Sam Waterfield. “MacIsaac] made a veteran call to do it and it worked last night.”

The Braves bounced back with a powerplay goal by Dale McCabe a minute later on an additional roughing minor that Gage picked up in the melee.

For a rookie coach, Waterfield is surprisingly at ease. In five years of junior hockey (including time with the Braves) Waterfield never played in a final, though he was a two-time winner of the Alberta college with the NAIT Ooks.

“Our guys have bonded well, they don’t seem to get down too much, they have good characteristics for playoff hockey,” Waterfield said. “They are in a good headspace right now, defenceman, to do, but he made a veteran call to do it and it worked for use last night.

“We talked about earning the right to play Game 6 in front of our home fans, and last night we talked about earning the right to play for a championship in front of our fans [on Friday].

“It won’t be handed to us, it will be a fun one Friday for the home fans.”

To start the game on Tuesday, Evan Abgrail netted the Braves’ first goal about 10 minutes in from Zach Guerra and Trevor Owens. The Storm answered with 41 seconds left in the first.

Just over five minutes into the second period, however, the Storm pulled ahead 3-1 on goals by Brett Kinsley and 15-year-old call-up Davis Frank. That’s when MacIsaac’s fight sparked the team.

Following McCabe’s goal, Zach Guerra scored with six minutes left in the second. Michael Sproule then opened the third with a goal on the first shift and Guerra added an unassisted goal at the 10-minute mark of the third to extend the Braves’ lead 5-3. Dawson Frank potted one for the Storm with 74 seconds left in the game.

To get here, the Braves had evened the series up in Game 4 with a 3-2 win Monday night in Saanich.

Sproule scored twice for the Braves, who built up a 3-0 lead before surrendering two third-period goals. Gavin Grewal also scored for Saanich.

Going into Friday, Sproule (14-11-25) and the Storm’s Dawson Frank (15-10-25) are tied for the playoff lead in scoring. They are followed by another pair of Braves, McCabe (6-13-19) and Owens (4-15-19)

Game 6 is set for 6:30 p.m., Friday, at Pearkes. If the Storm win the teams will meet again in Campbell River on Saturday at 5 p.m.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Victoria writer and filmmaker turns her mental illness into mental strength

Mental illness robs Victoria woman of happiness from age 10

Vancouver Island leads nation in medically assisted deaths

Island residents choose assisted death five times more than other Canadians

2 charged for feeding bear Tim Horton’s timbits

Court documents show that Randy Scott and Megan Hiltz have both been charged with feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife.

New Victoria ReStore location opens Oct. 27

New Tillicum location helps bargain hunters and Habitat for Humanity

Sewage leak closes sterilizing room at Victoria General Hospital

Royal Jubilee equipment sharing means no VGH surgeries cancelled

VIDEO: 41 years later, author publishes story he wrote at 6 years old

Troy Wilson originally created Captain Otter while in Grade 1

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Feds aiming to select preferred design for $60B warships by end of month

Defence insiders say the government wants to select a design by the end of the month from among three options submitted by several of the largest defence and shipbuilding companies in the world.

A B.C. campaign to give municipalities input into marijuana advertising

Without a say, towns and cities risk Washington-State-style flood of advertising, proponent says

Defence cautions against mob justice in Calgary child neglect trial

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark of Calgary have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death

Feds eyeing options to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions

Internal discussions have focused on an application-based process for speeding up pot pardons

Robert Barron column: Glad straps no longer used in schools

You would have to hold out your hands, palms up to expose the most sensitive parts

Most Read