GR PEARKES RECREATION CENTRE
3100 Tillicum Road
Victoria BC, V9A 6T2
YEAR BUILT - 1968
George R Pearkes Recreation Centre features two ice surfaces, weight room, dance studio, space for trade shows and a public library. The arena has the most comfortable fan seating on Vancouver Island with seats that were originally used in an IMAX theatre. The Green Rink is the home of the Saanich Predators of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL).
The arena is named after Major General George R. Pearkes, a Canadian politician and soldier. He was a recipient of the Victoria Cross for his service in World War I and also served in World War II. He was a local Member of Parliament, a Minister of National Defence and became Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia in 1960. Pearkes passed away in 1984 at the age of 94.
The Saanich Braves were established in 1967 as one of the founding teams of the VIJHL. In 1976 they won the BC Junior B Championship (Cyclone Taylor Cup). The Braves have won the VIJHL championship (Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy) a total of seven times including three years in a row from 1978 to 1980.
The Braves announced plans to rename their hockey team in July 2020.
“The Saanich Junior Braves name is not respectful to our First Nations and does not reflect the valued relationships we hold with local First Nations communities or with our First Nations players. We have decided to rename the team and have started a develop a name that upholds our core values."
On October 2, 2020, they announced their new name -the Saanich Predators.
Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy
Brent Patterson was a former Saanich player and league MVP who died after suffering chest pains during a game at the 1977 Cyclone Taylor Cup tournament in Quesnel. The VIJHL championship trophy is named in his honour.
Adam Cracknell spent the 2000/01 season with the Saanich Braves. In 2001 he moved up to the Western Hockey League where he played four seasons with the Kootenay Ice. In 2004 he was drafted in the 9th round by the Calgary Flames and spent the majority of his career in the American Hockey League. Cracknell appeared in 208 NHL games with St. Louis, Vancouver and Edmonton. In 2015 he scored the game winning shootout goal for the Vancouver Canucks in their pre-season game with the San Jose Sharks at the Q Centre.
Matt Irwin grew up in Brentwood Bay and was a teammate of Jamie Benn on the same little league baseball team. Irwin was with the Braves in 2004/05 and the next year advanced to the Junior A Nanaimo Clippers of the BC Hockey League (BCHL). With the Clippers he was named the best defenceman in the BCHL Coastal Conference for 2007 and 2008. After playing college hockey at the University of Massachusetts, Irwin signed with the Worchester Sharks of the American Hockey League. He made his NHL debut in 2012 with the San Jose Sharks and is currently playing for the Nashville Predators.