by Jeff Sargeant
(ISN) – Duncan, BC – The Capitals rallied from three one-goal deficits to force overtime in Victoria Tuesday night as Sean Harrison scored the biggest goal of his Junior career with the overtime winner on the power to send the Caps to a 4-3 win over the Grizzlies, their second straight to close out 2014.
Trailing 3-2 late into the third period, Darien Craighead rushed up the left wing side and put a relatively harmless shot on Sean Cleary that snuck in over his right pad to tie the game with just over two minutes remaining.
The Grizzlies came less than an inch away from the winner early in 4-on-4 overtime when Matthew Kennedy hit the crossbar from the slot on a shot that fooled the goal horn operator but not the referee right at the side of the crease.
Then with a minute and a half remaining, the Grizzlies were caught with too many men and the Caps were handed a seventh power play, this time a mammoth 4-on-3 opportunity. After winning the ensuing facoff, Thomas Gobeil had a slapshot blocked but Skylar Pacheco recovered the puck, dishing it to Harrison down low who made no mistake firing home his 14th of the season for the game winner.
The Capitals never held a lead in the game having to battle back on three separate occasions. After Justin Sadler got the Grizzlies on the board early in the second, Kade Kehoe scored his seventh of the season and first in 11 games finishing a nice cross-ice feed from Ryan Burton with four and a half to play in the middle frame to tie the game at one heading into the third.
Jake Emilio gave the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead just over a minute into the third but Kehoe once again responded with his second of the night roofing the puck from a sharp angle as he was falling to the ice battling to get to the loose puck. But four minutes later Brett Gruber got the lead back for Victoria with his 20th of the season. The Grizzlies held onto the tentative lead until the 17:49 mark when Craighead tied the game at three with his sixth.
Kehoe, Harrison, Burton, and Skylar Pacheco all finished the night with two points while Matt Zentner was fantastic in net making 33 saves for his sixth win of the season. Zentner was especially busy in the first stopping 15 shots and made some remarkable saves at key moments especially in the third period and early in overtime.
The Caps went 1/7 on the power play killing off both shorthanded situations. The Capitals and Grizzlies finished the game even in shots with 36 apiece.
The win gives the Capitals points in five of their last six games heading into 2015 now with a 13-23-1-1 record, eight points back of fourth place Alberni Valley.
The Caps are back in Victoria Friday night to kick off the New Year.