The Saanich Braves received goals from Evan Horvath, Josh Poland and Quinn Miller to grab a 3-2 victory over the Westshore Wolves in VIJHL pre-season action Thursday night at Juan De Fuca Arena in Colwood.
The Wolves jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead when Drayson Lum converted a nice 2-on-1 pass, tipping it just inside the post past Braves starter Jason Stewart 3:20 in, but it was all Braves after that with Horvath and Poland scoring in quick succession, the Braves peppering 17 shots total on Wolves starter Chris Smith and Stewart stopping the remaining 8 shots that he saw in the period to see the Braves lead 2-1 at the first intermission.
In the second, it was again all Braves, as the Wolves found themselves in plenty of penalty trouble, paying the price for that at the 12:38 mark when Quinn Miller snapped home a powerplay goal to put the Braves up 3-1. To that point, the Wolves had not been able to register a shot on goal and it stayed that way until late in the period after Taylor Findlay had replaced Stewart in the Saanich goal, stopping 4 shots before the end of the frame.
The Wolves came close early in the third, ringing one off the cross bar, and finally found a way to get one past Findlay with 13:36 to play, when Connor Bell snuck in off the wing and slipped one through the five-hole to put the Wolves within one.
The Wolves would continue to pressure, pulling their goalie on the powerplay with 2 minutes to go, but Findlay and the Braves defence held them off to preserve the 3-2 win.
The Braves would outshoot the Wolves 40-20 for the game. Stewart stopped 8 of 9 shots and Findlay 10 of 11 to share the win.
The two teams will be back at it again Friday night, this time at Pearkes Arena in Saanich. Puck drop is 6:30 pm.