Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart - A 36 -save performance from goaltender Alec Dillon and goals from five different players propelled the Westshore Wolves to a 5-2 win over the Saanich Braves Tuesday night in VIJHL playoff action at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
The win forces a Game 6 in the first-round series, with the Braves up 3-2, and staves off elimination for the first year Wolves.
In a series where home ice has meant nothing, with the visiting team winning four out of the five games thus far, the home side Braves were first to hit the score sheet tonight when Cole Golka took a nice feed from Max Mois to break in all alone and beat Dillon with a low shot at the 10:26 mark of the period.
After that it was all Wolves, as they would take advantage of three Brave penalties to pepper 16 shots on Braves' starter Tanner McGaw and score twice before the frame was out, the first by Clay Carson at 14:46 and the second from Braedon Behan at 18:18 on the powerplay. They would take that 2-1 lead into the break.
In the second, it was the Braves turn to come out flying, and they pretty much threw everything but the kitchen sink at Dillon, putting 16 shots of their own on net, but failing to score.
At the other end, the Wolves would have a few close chances, including a failed penalty shot, but would get another goal from Brett Lervold at the 17:12 mark to go up 3-1.
In the third, penalty trouble cost the Braves early as Westshore's Spencer Preece would notch a powerplay marker at the 5:08 mark to put the Wolves up 4-1 and take much of the fight out of the Braves at that point and what little they did have left, was further stymied by the play of Dillon between the pipes.
The Braves would get a powerplay goal from Josh Gray at the 15:21 mark, but more penalty troubles immediately after the goal, including a lengthy two-man disadvantage, kept the Braves from gaining any momentum and an empty net goal from Kyle Richter with 1:03 remaining sealed the 5-2 win, forcing Game 6 at Bear Mountain Arena on Thursday night.
Unsung hero Brett Lervold had another strong game for the Wolves with a goal and two assists. Former Brave Tyler Smith and Tim Quinn also chipped in with a pair of assists.
In other VIJHL North Division action Tuesday night, the Nanaimo Buccaneers defeated the Kerry Park Islanders 5-2 to sweep their first round series and will now face the Comox Glacier Kings who swept away Oceanside with a 6-1 win on Sunday.
In the other South series, the Victoria Cougars hold a 3-1 lead over Peninsula after an 8-1 win Monday and can close out the Panthers at home on Thursday.