The South division leading Saanich Braves proved its run of 5-1-2 in December was no fluke, as the club went 7-1-1 start to 2018.
That’s a run of 12-2-3 since the fateful Nov. 24 loss to the Oceanside Generals.
The Braves (22-15-4) are home to the Westshore Wolves (18-20-1-1) for the Braves’ long-running tradition of Pink in the Rink, 6:30 p.m. Friday night (Feb. 2) at Pearkes arena.
Looking at past years, there’s been times when the Pink in the Rink event has been something that added a spark to the team during a season that needed a silver lining. This year, however, it’s yet another reason to look forward to Friday night, as the hockey club partners with Anneswer to Cancer to fundraise for the Victoria Hospice.
“It’s nice for the players to wear the new jersey, it’s something we believe in and play for,” said coach Sam Waterfield.
Pink in the Rink was around back when Waterfield, 26, played for the Braves, but not to this magnitude, said the rookie bench boss.
“It’s [grown to become] a big deal in partnering with Anneswer to Cancer. Hopefully we’ll get lots out to the game.”
Everyone is healthy for the Braves, a team that was 10-13-1 before the December turnaround.
For Dale McCabe, wearing the sweater is an honour, especially knowing the community will step up to purchase the pink souvenir off his back.
“I’ve done it the last two years and it’s been great,” said McCabe, 19, who is third in Braves scoring with 36 points in 40 games. “I thought [it would be up to] my mom to buy it, so I was honoured it was a fan [who bought it].”
As per tradition, the team lines up after the game not only to auction the sweaters but also to see some players shave their heads, particularly the rookies. Naturally, not all players are willing to ‘forego the flow.’
“I’m doing it,” said the team scoring leader Michael Sproule (38 points, 40 games). “I think [McCabe] should do it.”
“I don’t know about that,” said McCabe. “Trevor Owens has a nice head of hair, he should do it.”
Pink in the Rink fundraising starts before the 6:30 p.m. puck drop at Pearkes on Friday and fans are invited to come a little early.
Friday is the seventh meeting of the season between the Braves and Wolves, with the series split at three wins apiece.