© Copyright – 2019 – Victoria Sports News
The Victoria Grizzlies have their backs against the proverbial wall in their third-round British Columbia Hockey League playoff series against the Prince George Spruce Kings.
The Spruce Kings have won all three games by the same score, 4-2.
It is a case of the stingiest defensive team in the league containing the league’s most potent offense.
For the next four straight games, the Grizzlies will need to score early and often to open up the Spruce Kings’ play; a tall order.
The Spruce Kings are now 11-1 in the post-season.
Game 3 went Monday night. Game 4 goes Tuesday at The Q Centre in Colwood.
On Monday, there was no scoring during the first period. Shots were a lopsided 22-9 during the opening frame for the visitors. Victoria was lucky to start the second period unscathed.
Alex Newhook, skating down the right side sent a tidy pass to Riley Hughes who buried the puck past goaltender Logan Neaton at 1:56 of the middle frame.
The Spruce Kings came back with three consecutive goals by Lucas Vanroboys, Layton Ahac and Nolan Welsh with the game-winner at 7:24 of the second period.
Kyle McGrath would make things interesting at 14:39. Carter Berger and Newhook would pick up their 12th and 13th assists of the post-season on the play.
The third period was a chess match with the Spruce Kings outshooting the Grizzlies 11-6. They had control of the game with the lead and added a fourth goal at 3:44 on the powerplay, while Berger was sitting for two minutes for roughing.
Despite getting an early lead, the Grizzlies couldn’t control the game and despite getting five powerplays to just one for Prince George, both teams scored once on the man advantage; opportunity lost.
Kurtis Chapman stopped 42 of 46 shots in net for Victoria, while Neaton stopped 27 of 29 for the win.
Coming back from a 3-0 deficit is possible, but highly unlikely. It is likely that Tuesday is the final opportunity for Greater Victoria Hockey fans to feast their eyes on two of the most talented Junior A hockey players in North America, Grizzlies Alex Newhook and Carter Berger.
Game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm.