By Fraser Rogers, With Photos by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
October 12, 2012, VICTORIA, BC- Myles Fitzgerald scored in double-overtime, as the Victoria Grizzlies halted the Penticton Vees six-game win streak with a 3-2 win Friday. The setback is the Vees first defeat in nearly a month, as their last loss came on September 15th in Prince George.
The game started off with a bang, as both teams combined for four goals in the first period; three in 1:50. The Grizzlies opened the scoring courtesy of Myles Powell at 12:12. Powell crashed the net and slid in a Chase Kaiser rebound into an open net. It looked like things would go from bad to worse for the Vees, as they took a penalty shortly after the goal. However, the Vees special teams rose to the occasion.
Mike Rebry blocked a Grizzlies point-shot and chased down a puck before beating Brady Rouleau on short-handed breakaway at 13:23; Rebry scored his team-leading second short-handed goal. However the Grizzlies quickly muted the Vees celebration and retook the lead. During the same power-play, Blake Thompson put a wrist-shot over the glove of Chad Katunar and off the post and in at 14:02; three goals in less than two minutes.
Penticton’s Wade Murphy skates away from the Grizzlies Garrett Skrbich in Friday’s action (Photo: Kasey Eriksen / Island Sports News)
The Grizzlies looked like they would carry their lead into the intermission but Wade Murphy conjured up some late period heroics once again. Murphy worked a puck free from skates, moved into the slot and wired a wrist-shot over Rouleau at 19:58; tied heading into the intermission.
Despite four goals in the first period, the two teams held each other scoreless for the last two periods. The Vees out-shot the Grizzlies 18-16 in the final forty-minutes but neither team could manufacture the go-ahead goal; overtime would be needed to decide a winner.
The Vees had a scare in the four-on-four overtime session, as they played a man down for two minutes after a holding penalty. The Vees rallied, and backed by timely saves and a handful of blocked shots, killed off the Grizzlies man-advantage.
The two teams went to double-overtime; three-on-three and Mike Rebry had a golden opportunity to win the game. Rebry was tripped by a Grizzlies player resulting in an automatic penalty-shot; any penalty in double-overtime results in a penalty-shot. However, Rebry was stymied by Rouleau as he failed to squeak the puck through his legs.
The Grizzlies celebrate their 2OT win (Photo: Kasey Eriksen / Island Sports News)
Myles Fitzgerald played hero for the home-side, scoring on a wraparound past the blocker side of Katunar. Fitzgerald came down the right-wing and circled around the net, before sliding the puck along the ice at the far-post at 2:34.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 GRIZZLIES
Shots: 43-34 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees – Grizzlies 1/3
Three Stars: 1) Myles Fitzgerald 2) Brady Rouleau 3) Wade Murphy
In the loss, Wade Murphy (9 games), Mike Rebry (7 games) and Louie Nanne (5 games) each extended their point streaks. Murphy’s goal moves him to 18 points and just two back of the BCHL scoring lead. Chad Katunar lost his first decision in nine starts after starting a perfect 8-0-0. Friday also sees two special teams streaks come to an end. The Vees streak of not allowing a power-play goal against ends at four games and their power-play goal streak ends at six.
The Vees travel to Duncan Saturday to face the Cowichan Valley Capitals at 7pm; you can hear the game on EZ Rock AM 800 or watch online at FastHockey.com The Vees conclude their Vancouver Island road trip Sunday in Nanaimo.