Saanich Braves representing the VIJHL Prospect Game on Jan. 27 include Ryan Strange, Jacob King and Zach Guerra with goalie Connor Cheyne. Missing is Braves defenceman Reid Lindsay. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Braves host 2019 Prospects Game, Sunday at Pearkes

– This story was updated to correct the date of the Prospects Game as Sunday.

The Saanich Braves are ready to show the league they are a class organization, an original franchise playing in the same rink from 50 years ago.

The puck drops at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27, for the VIJHL Prospects Game at Pearkes Arena.

Representing the Braves are Reid Lindsay, an 18-year-old defenceman who has played 15 games with the Victoria Grizzlies and 18 games with the Braves. So are forward Zack Guerra, third in Braves scoring with 16 goals and 12 assists, forward Ryan Strange, (23 points), defenceman Jake King, the only 17-year-old out of the bunch who has 21 points, and Braves starting goalie Connor Cheyne. Other than King, the group are all 18 years old.

It’s an interesting situation for Cheyne, who gets just one sweet period to play in.

READ MORE: Saanich Braves turn the rink pink in fall fundraiser

“You want to face a few shots to show what you can do, to get a few saves in and get into the game,” said Cheyne.

The Peninsula Minor Hockey product debuted with one period for the Braves in the VIJHL last year, having finished high school as part of the Spectrum hockey academy.

This year the six-foot-three goalie has a 9-7 record (as of Jan. 18) and a goal of playing as much hockey as he can, and hopefully parlaying that into a spot on a college team.

“When I heard about the Prospects Game I thought ‘OK maybe that’s a good way to get my name out there,’” said Cheyne, who has put off post-secondary for now.

READ ALSO: ‘It will always sting a little,’ but Braves know it was a great playoff run to Game 7

Last year it took all of about 18 seconds for the first hit of the Prospects Game to be thrown, according to Braves coach Sam Waterfield.

”It’s a hockey game, more than an all-star game, there’s a lot on the line,” Waterfield said.

“I’ve heard from guys who played last year that it’s a pretty good game,” said King. “I’ll be ready to play.”

Will there be scouts in the stands to watch the prospects? Maybe. Most of the local Junior A clubs are playing that weekend while the coaching staff are also already familiar with the players in the VIJHL, Waterfield said.

“It’s hard to say, they do watch online. Certainly if you want to advance your career, you’ll take it serious.”

The Prospects Game, and the previous All-Star Game in Campbell River on Jan. 20, are good motivators for those Braves attending. It’s been a tumultuous season for the Braves. Following a sizzling 12-0 start, the Braves regressed back to .500 with a slump to open to the new year. With a core of veterans who made it to Game 7 of the 2018 VIJHL championship final, it may just be a matter of flicking on the switch in February.

“Yeah there was a bit of a slump in November but we’ve pulled together as a team,” Cheyne said. “We started great but then everyone in the league got better [as the season progressed].”

Representing the Saanich Braves at the All-Star Game are Dale McCabe, Gavin Grewal, Jake Wilhelm and Evan Abgrail.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Struggling Victoria adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Oak Bay Sgt. struggles through emotional testimony in double murder trial

Andrew Berry is charged with second-degree murder in deaths of daughters Chloe (6) and Aubrey (4)

City of Victoria offers free childminding during council meetings

Beginning on May 9, children age six months and older can be dropped off at City Hall

Car fire backs up traffic southbound on Highway 1

View Royal Fire Rescue douses fire, no injuries reported

Cool Aid Society saves affordable apartment from uncertain future

Preserving affordable housing in Victoria part of organization’s mission

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Amber alert issued for 5-year-old Ontario boy

Ethan Montes is believed to be in the company of his mother, 47-year-old Juliet Mohammed

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read