File photo. Alex Newhook. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2019 – Victoria Sports News

The Victoria Grizzlies rode the wave of a highly talented offensive line-up that in another year or with a bit of different luck could have won The British Columbia Hockey League post-season title. They are that good, but alas it was not to be as they were eliminated on Tuesday by the Prince George Spruce Kings.

The Spruce Kings had the league’s stingiest defence. The Grizzlies had the most potent offence. This year, defence won.

The exciting, Island Division champions were a thrill to watch during the regular season as they led the league offensively with a talented core group that included the NHL entry draft candidate Alex Newhook of St. John’s, NL. He is likely to go early. For next season, he will be playing for NCAA division 1 for Boston College. The 18-year-old led the league in points this regular season with 102. He had a strong playoff run as well collecting 24 points in 15 games played.

Tuesday, Newhook scored his 10th of the post-season to tie the game at 1-1 at 13:44 of the second period. He scored again at 18:29 for the potential game-winner. Kenny Johnson picked up an assist on both goals.

Giving Newhook room to move around makes him the most dangerous player in Junior A hockey. With his first goal, Sean Donaldson was off for cross-checking and Finlay Williams was off for kneeing. His second goal was scored while Lucas Vanroboys was off for slashing.

Prince George learns quickly, they regained composure and only gave up one more powerplay opportunity to Victoria the rest of the way. At 9:40, Layton Ahac scored his fifth of the post-season to send the game into overtime. Kenny Johnson was off for slashing at the time.

At 18:09 of overtime, Ben Poisson scored to end the game and Victoria’s playoffs dreams were crushed.

Logan Neaton earned the 34-save win in net for Prince George, while Kurtis Chapman stopped 41 of 44 in net for the Grizzlies.

The 21-year-old goaltender from Airdrie, AB had a tremendous season going 26-9-0 with a goals against average of 2.52 and save percentage of .933 in 38 games played.

The league championships will be down to Prince George against the winner of the Vernon and Wenatchee series. Currently, Vernon is up 2-1.