It might have been a closer game than the 5-2 score line suggests but the Saanich Braves will have to wait for their first win over the Victoria Cougars this season, as the Cougars won the first game of a home-and-home at Archie Browning Sports Centre on Thursday night.
The Cougars took a 3-0 lead on goals from Connor Stephens, Kyle Richter and Ryan Hogland before Braves’ defenceman Brandon Parmar scored at the end of the second period to keep his team in it.
Then it got even closer as Braves’ rookie Connor Krupa wristed one past Cougars’ goalie Kiefer Giroux to make it 3-2, just 56 seconds into the third.
A busy neutral zone game by the Cougars kept the Braves at bay for most 10 more minutes of the period, but a pair of coincidental minors with eight minutes left worked in the Cougars’ favour.
During the four-on-four play Brody Coulter dropped a pass for trailer Steve Axford, who snapped a wrister past Braves netminder Bowman Rutledge to make it 4-2.
Josh Wyatt picked up his third assist of the game when Chris Bannister scored an empty netter with a minute left.
Game time for Friday’s Pink in the Rink extravaganza is 6:30 p.m. at George Pearkes Arena.