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The Victoria Grizzlies put a little breathing space between themselves and the Powell River Kings Sunday at The Q Centre, taking them out by the score of 6-2. The game was a four-pointer and Victoria needed to win to avoid relinquishing first place in the Island Division of the British Columbia Hockey League.
The first period was a bit of a chess match, with no goals scored and the shots at 10-9 for the visitors.
There wasn’t much in the way of powerplay opportunities in the game, but the Grizzlies took advantage of a miscue in the neutral zone with a shorthanded marker at 23 seconds of the second period with Cameron Thompson scoring his 17th goal of the season from Ryan Nolan and Kenny Johnson. Super sophomore Alex Newhook would earn his 27th goal of the season from Brady MacDonald and Nico Somerville at 9:45.
Ethan Kimball would try to make a game of it at 12:01 of the second with his seventh, but nothing doing, Alexander Campbell (20th) and Newhook would score at 13:37 and 18:21 to close out the period with a 4-1 lead.
Campbell’s goal would prove to be the winner.
It was Alex’s on fire as Newhook again would score – for the hat-trick – at just 33 seconds while on the man-advantage from Carter Berger and Campbell. It was an important goal to make the lead insurmountable for the visitors and it was. Charlie Campbell would score at 11:54 from Newhook and Riley Hughes.
It was a huge, five-point night for the St. Johns, NL native who just turned 18 last week. The second-year Grizzlies player will be attending Boston College next year. Sunday’s performance was his 23rd multi-point game this season. He had a seven-point game against the Coquitlam Express on November 30.
Newhook currently leads the entire BCHL regular season points race with 29 goals and 52 assists for 81 points over 46 games played.
Jack Long tried to make the score look more respectable at 14:14 with a powerplay marker, but that was all they had.
With the win, the Grizzlies now have a three-point lead in the regular season standings on the Kings.
The win was an important confidence builder for the Grizzlies who appear to be ready for the post-season with all guns-a-firing.
Shots were even at 27 each.