The Victoria Grizzlies found the back of the net early and often in Surrey on Sunday, snapping their mini two-game losing skid and end their five-game road trip on a winning note with a 7-1 win over the Eagles.
The Grizzlies benefitted from Cole Pickup’s first hat trick of the season.
The Grizzlies (Now 26-8-3-4, 59 points) wrap up their road trip going 3-2 and now lead the British Columbia Hockey League’s Island Division by 10 points over the Powell River Kings.
Surrey (Now 14-24-2, 30 points) has now dropped their first three games of the calendar year and sits fifth in the Mainland Division.
After falling into deep holes in each of their past two games, both losses, the Grizzlies wasted no time seizing control of this one.
Jamie Rome’s 15th goal of the season just 30 seconds into the game was followed by Nathan Looysen’s 14th, giving Victoria a quick 2-0 lead before the eight-minute mark.
The Grizzlies capped the opening period with a powerplay goal from Lucas Clark, his eighth of the season to put Victoria ahead by three after 20 minutes.
Surrey got on the board midway through the second period thanks to a powerplay goal by Darius Davidson, his 22nd goal of the year, making the score 3-1, but the Grizzlies responded late in the period.
Two goals in 66 seconds inside the final four minutes of the second period put the Grizzlies in the driver’s seat, up 5-1. Marty Westhaver picked up his sixth of the season and second in three games before Pickup cashed in with his first goal of the game.
Despite the 5-1 lead for Victoria, the Eagles held a 25-21 edge in shots on goal through two periods.
The Grizzlies continued to pull away in the third period with Pickup burying his second and third goals of the game, bringing his season total to 21 and the final score to 7-1 for Victoria.
Surrey outshot the Grizzlies 37-33. Tony Rehm made 36 saves in the victory for Victoria while Michael Botiz faced all 33 shots in goal for the Eagles.
The Grizzlies went 1-4 on the powerplay while Surrey was 1-8.
Pickup led all point-getters with three on the strength of his hat trick.
The Grizzlies now return home on January 12 when the Nanaimo Clippers visit Victoria to kick off four straight games at the Q Centre for the Grizzlies.