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Grizzlies’ Den Members: The Westhaver brothers

In 26 seasons, the Victoria Grizzlies have seen several sets of brothers play for them. One such set is the Westhaver brothers.

Both Marty and Andy Westhaver have played for the Grizzlies. Marty played four seasons for Victoria from 2016-20 while Andy has been an affiliate player for Victoria. On occasion, he’s been called up from the Westshore Wolves of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League to play for the Grizzlies.

Both Marty and Andy have another brother named Jack. He and Andy are teammates on the Wolves while Marty is currently attending Long Island University in New York. While Jack hasn’t played for the Grizzlies, it might not be long before he gets a chance with the team.

For this article, I want to profile Marty and Andy, including Marty’s four seasons in Victoria and the impact he had. I also want to talk about Andy’s time with the Grizzlies.

Afterward, I’ll spotlight Jack and what he’s done with the junior B Wolves. Finally, I want to mention their youngest brother Jake. But before that, I want to talk about their mom Mena Westhaver.

Mena is the Grizzlies skating coach and has been for several years. In that time, she’s worked with several of the top Grizzlies players, including her son Marty, Henri Schreifels, Cody Monds, and Ellis Rickwood.

Marty’s arrival

Before Marty joined the Grizzlies, he played for the VIJHL’s Peninsula Panthers. He’s one of several Grizzlies players who came from the VIJHL. During his only season with the Panthers, Marty had 17 goals and seven assists in 44 games.

Marty joined the Grizzlies for the 2016-17 season. While he only notched 12 points in 52 games, his game improved over the following seasons.

He scored 27 points in each of the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. His final season in Victoria was 2019-20 when he served as team captain.

In 50 games, Marty had 18 goals and 26 assists. He was Victoria’s third leading scorer behind Schreifels and Monds.

In June 2020, Marty announced a commitment to Long Island University. He was with LIU during the 2020-21 season but didn’t play any games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Westhaver is back on the ice with the Sharks for the 2021-22 season.

Andy’s time with Victoria

Over the past four seasons, Andy Westhaver has served as an affiliate player with the Grizzlies and was called up to play BCHL games. He played two games during the 2018-19 season, one game in 2019-20, and one game so far in 2021-22. The rest of the time, he is a regular with the Westshore Wolves of the VIJHL.

Both the Grizzlies and Wolves play at The Q Centre, so a call-up isn’t hard to get. If the Grizzlies needed a quality depth player, Andy is a great choice.

In 41 games with the Wolves during the 2019-20 season, Andy scored 16 goals and 15 assists. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-21 VIJHL season was canceled prematurely. Despite this, Andy scored five goals and three assists in eight games.

He is among the top scorers in the VIJHL this season, his final campaign of junior hockey.

From U18 to junior B

The next Westhaver brother I will cover is Jack. He’s been Andy’s full-time teammate on the Wolves since the 2020-21 season.

From 2018-20, Jack was part of the South Island Royals U18 program in the BC Elite Hockey League. Jack joined the Wolves for the 2020-21 season that was cut short due to COVID-19.

During the shortened season, Jack had a goal and six assists in 12 games. He is among the top 10 scorers on the Wolves this season.

After the current season, Jack has two more before aging out of junior hockey. If Jack does play for the Grizzlies, he’ll continue an ongoing tradition of the Westhaver brothers – and other pairs or trios of siblings – playing for the same teams.

Jamie and Jordie Benn played together on the Grizzlies. The same for Myles, Leo, and Gerry Fitzgerald. So far, only Marty and Andy Westhaver have played for Victoria. Jack could be next.

One more connection

While he’s recently joined the South Island Royals, the youngest Westhaver brother Jake does actually have a connection to the Grizzlies. At 11 years old, he served as the Grizzlies stick boy.

So far, Jake has split time between the U18 and U17 South Island Royals teams. He’s taken a similar path as his older brother Jack, who – as mentioned earlier – also started with the Royals program. Time will tell if Jake goes from former stick boy to active player and continues the legacy of the Westhaver family with the Victoria Grizzlies.