Braves shutout Islanders to take Game 1 of playoffs

Braves return to Pearkes Friday night for Game 3

The Saanich Braves shutout the Kerry Park Islanders 3-0 at Pearkes arena on Tuesday night to take a 1-0 lead in the VIJHL first-round playoff series.

The best-of-seven series continues Wednesday night in Mill Bay and returns to Pearkes for Friday, 6:30 p.m.

League MVP Riley Mathieson was named first star of Tuesday’s playoff opener, having stopped 44 shots for his first playoff shutout 16 career VIJHL playoff games. The Braves were outshot 44-32.

Ryan Strange opened the scoring on the powerplay in the first period for the Braves. Defenceman Elliott MacIsaac scored at even strength in the third period and Strange scored an empty-netter to ice it with 65 seconds left in the game.

Visit the VIJHL Playoff Bracket for updates here.

Tuesday had three playoff openers, as Nanaimo defeated Oceanside 5-4 and Campbell River blanked the Peninsula Panthers 4-0. Victoria and Westshore open their series Wednesday at the Q Centre.

The Braves fourth-leading scorer Trevor Owens will return from suspension for Game 2.

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