Steeler Luca Rizzardo (left) makes a move around Whaler Cohen Massey Dec. 17. (Grandview Steelers)
Ex-Steeler Nathan Bran scores hat trick in dominant performance against former club
BURNABY WINTER CLUB – The Steelers created scoring chances and outshot the White Rock Whalers. But the Grandview defensive corps skated into a former Steeler juggernaut called Nathan Bran.
Bran provided the offensive spark for White Rock as he notched a hat trick for a 4-1 away victory Dec. 17.
First, the 20-year-old veteran lit the lamp halfway through the second period when he deked and burst past two Steelers. In all alone, Bran wristed the puck with pinpoint accuracy under Grandview goalie Ronin Geraghty’s glove for a 2-1 lead that the Whalers never relinquished.
Later, he finished off a three-way passing play for his second goal that evening, and dashed any hopes of a Grandview comeback with an empty-netter from centre ice.
Steeler Kassius Kler was the only one to beat White Rock goalie Mark Paton. Meanwhile, Geraghty was tagged with the loss. After a hot start to the season, his record is now nine wins and six losses with a goals-against-average of 3.35.
Grandview captain Gabe Adam acknowledged that his team wanted to “play tight against the other’s team top line. Unfortunately [Bran] slipped a couple through us this game,” Grandview captain Gabe Adam said.
“Moving forward, I think we just got to really focus on video – just prep for the teams we’re playing – and just bring a good intensity for the full 60” minutes, Adam added.
The captain also praised fellow blueliner Ryan Sullivan, 19, who has been “huge on the back end.”
Grandview picked up Sullivan in early November from the Aldergrove Kodiaks. Since he slipped on the black-and-gold ‘S’ crest, Sullivan has made consistent heads-up passes with 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) for the Steelers.
In the standings, the Steelers are still mired around the .500 mark. At press time, Dec. 18, Grandview had a record of 15 wins, 14 losses and two shootout defeats for a total of 32 points – fifth place in the seven-team Tom Shaw Conference.
Bah, humbug: tough week ahead
Unfortunately for Grandview, coaches and players will not have a lot of time to shop for Christmas presents this week. All kidding aside, the Steelers will need to draw on all their energy reserves for three games in a four-night marathon.
Those dates are: at home Wed., Dec. 20 versus the fourth-ranked North Vancouver Wolf Pack (38 points); the next night on the road against the woeful Port Coquitlam Trailblazers; and another away match-up in Port Moody Dec. 23.
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