It was a tough week for the Braves this past week, as they embarked on a three game road trip and came out on the short end of each, losing to the Westshore Wolves, Campbell River Storm and Kerry Park Islanders.
On Wednesday, Dec. 10 , the Braves ventured to the Q Centre to take on the Wolves. Riley Mathieson made his first start between the pipes for Saanich and was greeted rudely by the Wolves who scored three times in the first period to hold a 3-1 lead at the first break. After a scoreless second, the Wolves would score three more times in the third to put the game away. Alex Schleuter and Cam MacKay were the goal scorers for the Braves.
On Friday Dec. 12 the Braves travelled north to Campbell River and acquitted themselves well against the top team in the league, building a 2-0 lead early into the second period thanks to goals from Nyshan Basra and Jack Rachwalski. The Storm then found their scoring touch and rattled off six straight goals, three in the second and three in the third, to lead 6-2 before the Braves tallied two late markers by Ben Meek and Basra (his second) to make the score respectable. Riley Mathieson made hsi second straight start for the Braves and faced 44 Campbell River shots in taking the loss.
On Sunday, the Braves travelled to Kerry Park to make up the Nov. 6th game that was cancelled due to storm activity. Once again the Braves came out strong and built a 3-1 first period lead thanks to goals from Hunter Atchison, Jordan Parmar and Nyshan Basra. The Islanders would score three straight in the second to take a 4-3 lead, before goals from Ben Meek and Evan Horvath, on the powerplay, resotred the Braves lead to 5-4 at the second break. The two teams would exchamge goals early in the third, with Atchison scoring his second of the night for the Braves, but Kerry Park would score two more before the game was out to escape with the 7-6 win. Brandon Ward made the start for the Braves and made 27 saves in the losing effort.
On the positive side for the Braves, they seem to be finding their scoring touch again, having scored ten goals in the last two games after only scoring five in the three games prior to that. Leading the way has been Braves leading scorer Nyshan Basra who has three of those goals after being held scoreless in the previous four games. Hunter Atchison also returned to the line-up Sunday against Kerry Park after a two-game absence and had a pair of goals, while Ben Meek scored goals against both Campbell River and Kerry Park, his first since scoring against Kerry Park on Oct. 22. VIJHL All-Star selection Jack Rachwalski also has a nice run going, with three goals and nine assists in his last 10 games, including a pair of assists against Kerry Park last Sunday.
The three losses ran the Braves losing streak to six and dropped their record to 8-19-0-5. They sit in 4th in the South Division, nine points back of Kerry Park and six points up on last place Peninsula.
The Braves are back in action this week with two home games, a re-match with Kerry Park on Wednesday (7:30 pm) and a Friday night affair with the Peninsula Panthers at 6:30 pm. The Braves are then off until the New Year, when they travel to Peninsula on New Year's Day for a holiday tilt against the Panthers (6:00 pm start).