Story by Kyle Anderson
March 2, 2013, Nanaimo BC (ISN) – Outstanding! That’s the only word that can describe Friday’s BCHL game between the Victoria Grizzlies and Nanaimo Clippers.
It took almost 70:00 full minutes, heading to a 2-2 tie, when Reid Sturos pulled away and buried a snapshot top shelf to send the 1279 fans home happy from Frank Crane Arena.
It was a bit of a slow start with only one goal in the first, scored by Keyler Bruce at 5:56. Assists would go to David Walchuk and Mark McLellan. The shots finished 16-13 in favor of the Grizzlies after one; however they did lead 10-1 at one point, with the Clippers coming on strong in the second half of the period. Brady Rouleau would be sharp to keep the score 1-0 Victoria.
The second belonged to Nanaimo on the shot clock as well as the scoreboard, but it would take more than half the period to get things started. With Myles Fitzgerald off for tripping, Kyle Kramer would walk out of the left corner and snap a wrister over the glove of Rouleau to make it 1-1. It wasn’t until 18:46 that the Clippers would score once again as Mason Mitchell would bang home his own rebound after being fed from behind the net by Kyle Kramer. Shots were 11-6 Nanaimo.
A fast exciting period of hockey awaited fans in the 3rd, but it took until 17:47 to get the tying goal from Turner Lawson, who put a wrister past Jayson Argue on a scramble. The Clippers were skating around the entire shift. Final shots in the 3rd were 11-9 Victoria.
The first OT would solve nothing, without many scoring chances except for Reid Sturos breakaway halfway through. The 3-on-3 OT was back and forth without a single stoppage, as Reid Sturos would play hero with just 11 seconds remaining putting one top shelf on Rouleau for the Victory.
3 Stars: 3rd – Reid Sturos (Nan), 2nd – Keyler Bruce (Vic), 1st – Jayson Argue (Nan).
The two teams finish off the home and home Tonight at Bear Mountain Arena. The Grizzlies will get Sunday off as the Clippers head to Alberni Valley to take on the Bulldogs at 2:00 pm. Alberni Valley is 4 points behind Nanaimo for 2nd place in the Island Division.