Braves forward Justin Polischuk hopes for a rebound as Cougars goalie Evan Roch gloves the puck during the Braves 3-1 win at Archie Browning Sports Centre on Nov. 22. The Cougars bounced back to win 2-1 in a shootout on Friday.

Braves forward Justin Polischuk hopes for a rebound as Cougars goalie Evan Roch gloves the puck during the Braves 3-1 win at Archie Browning Sports Centre on Nov. 22. The Cougars bounced back to win 2-1 in a shootout on Friday.

Braves serve Cougars first regulation loss of season

The Victoria Cougars' year long streak ended at the hands of the Saanich Braves last week

The Saanich Braves ended the Victoria Cougars’ year long point streak on Thursday (Nov. 22).

The 3-1 win also stopped the Cougars current 16-game winning streak and was the first regulation time loss by the reigning Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League champs dating back to Dec. 3, 2011.

“Saanich outworked us and were hungry to do things we weren’t prepared to do,” said Cougars coach Mark Van Helvoirt.

The two-game series crossed Tillicum Road Bridge back to Saanich’s George Pearkes Recreation centre for Friday night, where the Cougars struck back with a 2-1 win in a shootout.

“Friday we played a better team game, we were blocking shots, chipped pucks out, and didn’t get frustrated,” Van Helvoirt said.

The two-game set between the league’s first-place Cougars and

second-place Braves was also a possible preview of the 2013 VIJHL final.

Braves captain Ty Jones sniped the game winner on Thursday in the second period and added an empty net goal in the final minute as the Braves won 3-1 at Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt.

To earn three out of four points against the Cougars (23-1-0-1) is a solid take for the Braves (17-4-0-1).

“It’s huge for our confidence,” Braves coach Cook said. “We’re happy that we’ve performed well. Quite frankly, our first two games (against the Cougars last month) we performed well too, this time we were able to get a result. Obviously (Friday was) disappointing.”

The challenge now for the Braves is to carry on in the same manner when they visit the Peninsula Panthers (15-9-0-2) at Panorama arena on Thursday and host the Campbell River Storm (5-18-0-2) at Pearkes on Friday.

“Our preparation was outstanding from players and staff, no question,” Cook said. “We can’t be that excited about just one team, we need to bring that killer instinct every game so it’s just normal when we get to playoffs.”

Goalie Tanner McGaw was solid for the Braves on Thursday, stopping 33 of 34 shots, especially during a series of Braves penalties in the second period. McGaw was great again on Friday, making 34 saves on 35 shots.

“What I really liked was that (McGaw) didn’t have to stand on his head, nor did (Ty Jones) have to score five points,” Cook said. “We were good all around, and (McGaw) made saves he was supposed to.”

Thursday’s game took a major shift when, with the Cougars up 1-0 on a goal by Dane Feeney, Braves forward Sam Johnson scored shorthanded on a breakaway. Johnson slid the puck through Evan Roch, “a massive” lift to the Braves’ morale. A few minutes later Jones scored at five-on-five to make it 2-1.

Jones was the first to score on Friday, with eight minutes left in the first period. Ben Kinshella tied it 1-1 for the Cougars in the last minute on the rebound of a Brody Coulter shot. Cougars forward Garrett Brandsma scored the only goal of the shootout.

The Cougars visit the Westshore Wolves, 7:30 p.m. tonight at Bear Mountain Arena, and host Kerry Park Islanders, 7 p.m. tomorrow.

sports@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read