By Junior Reporter Mike Beelby - The Saanich Braves improved their VIJHL record to 3-0 Friday night, as a four goal outburst in the second period helped them defeat the visiting Oceanside Generals 7-4 at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
The Braves distributed the scoring a bit more in the game, as everyone got at least one point, except four players, which is pretty impressive. The Braves goaltender Tanner McGaw was solid between the pipes stopping 36 shots and keeping his save percentage north of 90%.
The game started badly for the Braves as the Generals were quick to score, starting it only 13 seconds in as Taylor Gray found an open Marino Sommerville in the slot who beat McGaw on a point blank shot blockerside.
The Braves matched it just over two minutes later as Brandon Parmar took a pass from Sam Johnston in the corner and beat Gens' goalie Alex Mastronado with a slapshot from the point that slid on the ice, off the post and in. Twenty year-old Andrew White was in on the play with the second assist.
It remained tied for eight minutes and four seconds but then Will McNamara for the Generals walked in a snapped a shot low past McGaw to take the 2-1 lead, with assists were to Ryan Buse and Shane Dial.
Later on in the first, three veterans were in on the tying goal, as the Braves had pressure on and Nick Kapusty won a battle in the corner and the puck came loose to Sam McMullen who made a sweet pass to Andrew White who buried it into a wide open net.
The Generals outshot the Braves 13-5, no shortage of finish by the Braves in the first twenty.
The Braves came out with the win on their mind in the second and took the lead quickly as there were numerous passes on the powerplay before defencemen Garrett Kemmler fed a pass over to Shawn McBride who one touched a pass to Josh Gray who made no mistake beating Mastronado off the glove and in.
On the play of the night, Ty Jones scored his fifth of the season on a two-on-two as Sam Johnston made a slick pass up the ice to Jordan Groenheyde who fed Jones who walked around a defender like he wasn't even there and sniped it right under the bar. 4-2 Braves, but the Generals put some hope into the game as Caden Infanti ripped it high-blocker and turned it back into a one goal game, assists to Shane Dial and Logan Savard.
The Braves bounced back and scored two goals by both the Josh's, as first it was Josh McGladery who came up from behind the net and made some nice moves then cut to the slot, spun around and slid it 5-hole on Mastronado. Kevin Massy got his first point of the season and Brandon Parmar added a point to the night for himself.
The Braves would add another as rookie Nick Guerra made a cross-ice pass to Shawn McBride who fed it up to Gray and on a two-on-one, made no mistake ripping it high glove and sending the water bottle off the net. That was the night for Mastronado as he allowed 6 goals on 12 shots. In came Josh Alalouf but the Braves couldnt capitalize late in the second. The shots were 15-12 Braves, but 25-20 overall for the guests.
The Braves were up by three goals with twenty minutes left, and the next goal was huge for both teams. Andrew White sealed the deal with the putaway goal eight minutes in as he burried a shot in the slot for the 7-3 lead, apples to Nick Kapusty and Ty Jones. The way McGaw was playing it was sure to be a win with a four goal lead and 12 minutes left.
The Generals did add one more though as Cam McCarrick scored high glove of a one timer right in front of McGaw, Savard and McNamara helped out with the goal.
Once again the Braves leave with a win, but were out shot badly 40-26.
Three Stars were -
First star - Josh Gray (2 goals)
Second Star - Andrew White (2 goals and 1 assist)
Third Star - Sam Johnston (2 assists)
Next game is next Friday Night as the Braves take on the Nanaimo Buccaneers at Pearkes Arena, puck drops at the usual time 6:30.
Hope to see you there!