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The Victoria Grizzlies who went 2-2-0-1 during the month of December, are enjoying two weeks off. The break comes between their final game that took place in Port Alberni on Saturday, Dec. 15 where they lost 2-1 and Saturday, Dec. 29 when they take on the Nanaimo Clippers at The Q Centre in Colwood.
The Grizzlies sit three points up on the second-place Power River Kings 46 to 43. Nanaimo sits third in the Island Division with just 32 points and are hovering just under .500 hockey with a win percentage of .471. Victoria outclasses Nanaimo in the stats department with 142 goals for and 110 against, versus Nanaimo’s number of 99 and 123 respectively. The spread in plus-minus is 56. Victoria is at +32 and Nanaimo at -24.
Victoria is the only team to average more than four goals per game at 4.057 with 142 goals scored in just 35 games.
The stats; however, don’t tell us that Nanaimo wants to win at least as much as Victoria does – they need to. The game on the 29th will be a competitive affair. If Nanaimo wants to be a series post-season contender, they are going to have to begin winning in a big way.
Nanaimo is 3-3-0-1 during December with all three wins as well as the shootout win coming during their four most recent games – they are on the right track. They defeated Victoria in the shootout 4-3 at the Frank Crane Arena on Dec. 14.
Victoria went 7-2-1-0 during November. They will need to return to that pace in January to win the division as the Kings are hot on their tail.
The Kings went 4-2-0-1 during December, playing five of seven on the road. Defensively, Powell River has surrendered just 106 goals in 36 games and has scored 132 – well above league average. Their plus-26 differential is bettered by just four BCHL teams.
The schedule makers were kind enough to pit the first-place Prince George Spruce Kings against the Victoria Grizzlies on Sunday, Jan. 6 in a matinee game at The Q Centre. The Spruce Kings lead the entire league with a record of 25-9-1-2 and are the only team with a winning percentage over .700 at .716.
They have been extremely stingy on defence as they lead the league with just 76 goals against in 37 games played.
The regular season will conclude after 58 games have been played. January will be the beginning of the final push towards the postseason. Follow the Grizzlies here>>