Story and Photos By Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
January 26, 2013, Victoria BC (ISN) – The Victoria Grizzlies played host to the Merritt Centennials Friday Night in Victoria’s Bear Mountain Arena to 1,316 cheering fans. The goaltenders chosen to start the first period were Tyler Steel in for the Centennials and Mike Stiliadis in for the Grizzlies.
The Centennials opened the scoring when Brendan Lamont plotted one behind Stiliadis getting his team on the board at 12:37.
At 17:50 the Centennials repeated the process when Silvan Harper scored a power play goal bringing the scoring to 2-0 for the Centennials, ending the period.
Shots on goal – Grizzlies 4, Centennials 13
Grizzlies call-up, Cole Pickup, from the South Island major midget Royals, scored his first Junior A goal – Photos By Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
It was the Grizzlies who opened up the second period when Jaden Schmeisser out maneuvered Steel, sinking the puck and bringing the score within one. The Grizzlies struck again when Leo Fitzgerald buried the puck at 17:04 with a power play goal, tying the game at 2.
Five minutes passed, and at 17:09 the Centennials answered back with an unassisted goal by Harper, this was Harpers second of the night, bringing the score to 3-2.
Shots on goal in the second period – Grizzlies 8, Centennials 7
Grizzlies Pearce Eviston and Centennials Diego Cuglietta battle for the puck in the corner – Photos By Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
It did not take Merritt long to open the scoring in the third period with their fourth goal when Lamont found the back of the net, scoring his second of the night at 1:58.
At 12:06 it was Cole Pickup, a (South Island Royal major midget) contributing his skills, scoring his first Junior A goal for the Grizzlies. The score was now 4-3 in favour of the Centennials.
Tyler Steel makes an important save, sending the game into overtime – Photos By Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
There were a number of penalties against both teams, but it was the Grizzlies who held the honors. At 14:39, it was Nolan DeJong who evened out the playing field by tying the game at 4.
Both teams would have trouble closing out the third period for the win, and in front of an anxious crowd the Centennials and Grizzlies found they were heading into overtime.
Nolan DeJong desperately tries to fight off two Centennial players as well as sink the puck during the first overtime period – Photos By Kasey Eriksen (ISN)
The first overtime came and went with neither team finding the back of the net, forced into a second overtime with three on three play it was Merritt that broke the ice. At 3:44, Regan Soquila tipped the scale and the Merritt Centennials took the win home with a final score of 5-4.
Total shots on goal – Grizzlies: 23, Centennials, 32