Playoff Wrap-up – March 15

VIJHL Playoff Summary – March 15 – Round Two

Campbell River 3 Saanich 2 Double OT

Reid Wheeldon was the Campbell River hero as the Storm defeated the Saanich Braves in Game 1 of their semifinals matchup.

The best word to describe Friday’s game would be ‘tentative’. It was clear that both teams recognized the others’ strengths and as a result played a cautious game even in the two overtime periods.

The Braves, who did an incredible job of taking the VIJHL’s Top Goaltender’s eyes away all night, opened the scoring when Zach Guerra, using Gavin Grewal as a decoy, launched a rocket over Aaron de Kok’s shoulder. Moments later, Ryan Strange fired a shot from the high slot through a maze of players that found the back of the net. Saanich was up by 2 midway through the first period.

Campbell River’s response was immediate. Within a minute of the Strange goal, Cole Slaney let go a wrister from just outside the left circle that changed direction through traffic and the Storm were on the board.

Before the end of the first, Campbell River evened things up on a bit of a strange one. Mike Dyck entered the offensive zone on the left side after he received a pass from Darren Hards, fired the puck towards the net, it went off the stick of the defender, fluttered over netminder Anderson Violette coming down behind him and Damon Porter batted it out of the air.

No more scoring until the second overtime when Wheeldon tipped the pass from Tyler Chyzowski at 12:49 of double overtime.

The Saanich Braves were the least penalized team in the regular season, averaging less than 3 penalty kills per game (less than two against the Storm). That trend continued with a disciplined performance on Friday. The Storm were 0/1 with the man advantage while the Braves were 1/4.

Shots on goal were 32-32. Both Violette and de Kok played well making very good stops with loads of traffic in front of them.

Reid Wheeldon and Zach Guerra were the game stars.