Two goals in the final 1:20 of the third period salvaged a point for the Grizzlies, playing for the first time at the Q Centre after playing their first five games away from home.
But a goal by captain Jackson Cressey of the visiting Coquitlam Express with 1:55 to go in the first overtime period, a power play marker, gave the Express an exciting 5-4 win over the Grizzlies, in a game played in front of 1,055 attendees. Cressey had two goals and an assist.
Corey Iapalucci and Chuck Bennis, two new members of the Grizzlies, scored the late third-period goals to give the Grizzlies a chance in overtime. The Bennis goal came as time expired, off an offensive faceoff play, banging home a rebound.
Shots ended 31-30 for the Express.
Coquitlam got on the board first, 3 minutes into the first period, on a goal by Cressey, but Nick Guiney evened things up later in the period for Victoria.
Jake Stevens, like Guiney, scored his first of the season for the Grizzlies to give Victoria a lead early in the second period, but Erik Udahl’s power-play goal later in the period knotted things at 2-2 going to the third.
Troy Robillard put the visitors up in the first minute of third period and Colton Kerfoot put the Express ahead 4-2.
The Grizzlies head to Port Alberni on Friday, looking to avenge a tight loss two weeks ago on what was the home opener for the Bulldogs.
The next home action for the Grizzlies is Sunday, a game that will see a fan tailgate party start at noon, sponsored by White Spot. The game is slated to get going at 2pm, as the Grizzlies face the visiting Vernon Vipers.
Following that, the Grizzlies play host to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Thursday, October 8, then go to Duncan on Friday to face the Cowichan Valley Capitals, before a Saturday, October 10 night game at the Q Centre against the Surrey Eagles.
After opening with five games on the road, the Grizzlies are in a stretch now where they play six of eight games on friendly ice at The Q Centre, including Thursday’s opener. The Grizzlies are 1-4-1 on the season.