Third Period Once Again Proves Costly for the Grizzlies

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

January 16, 2014, Chilliwack, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Grizzlies took a 1-0 lead into the third period, only to see the Chilliwack Chiefs score four third period goals, including an empty netter, and come away with a 4-2 win in BC Hockey League action Friday night at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack.

The Grizzlies Mitch Barker (left) tries to elude Chilliwack’s Jake Hand (right) on this partial breakaway attempt Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The game marked the first of two meetings between the clubs this season.

Chilliwack goaltender David Jacobson, a California native recently acquired at the trading deadline, made his third start for the Chiefs and he was the difference, especially in the first two periods when the Grizzlies would dominate, out-shooting the Chiefs 27-12.

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Chilliwack goaltender David Jacobson was outstanding Friday, stopping 30 of 32 shots to get the win, only the Chiefs second since the Christmas break (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

He finished with 31 stops in total and was named first star of the game for his efforts.

Dane Gibson opened the scoring for the Grizzlies at the 12:58 mark of the second period as he converted a beautiful feed from Brett Gruber.

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Victoria’s Brett Gruber (8) and Chilliwack’s Craig Puffer (14) look for the puck following a faceoff in the second period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

That would be all the Grizzlies could muster though until late in the third when Gibson would get his second of the game with the goalie pulled.

Prior to that, it was the Chiefs who finally came alive in period three and provided some support for their goaltender Jacobson.

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Chilliwack defenceman Bennett Morrison (24) eludes the forcheck of Victoria’s Cole Pickup (14)(Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Striking first at 4:43 was Jordan Kawaguchi tying the game 1-1. Rory Bell at 14:09, on the powerplay and Jake Larson at 16:12 on a 2-on-1 gave Chilliwack a 3-1 lead before Gibson responded at 18:21 with his second.

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Victoria’s Jay Mackie (8) drives hard to the net off the wing under pressure from Chilliwack’s Rory Bell (21)(Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Grizzlies would continue to pressure with the goalie pulled, but Jake Hand’s empty net goal at 19:41 would seal the 4-2 win for the Chiefs, snapping their two game losing streak and giving them just their second win since the Christmas break.

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Victoria’s Cole Pickup (kneeling) has a word for Chilliwack goalie David Jacobson, after Jacobson knocked Pickup down during a goalmouth scramble (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For Head Coach Craig Didmon, the result was quite simple, “We need to play for a full 60 minutes. We probably played some of our best hockey all year for the first two periods, and some of the worst in the third. We are learning how to lose late in games recently, now its time we start learning how to win.”

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Victoria’s Thomas Gobeil drew back into the line-up Friday and despite being held pointless, was named the game’s second star (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Despite the win, the Chiefs remain one point back of Langley in the Mainland Division as the Rivermen also won Friday.

The Grizzlies fall to 18-14-1-9 and they remain two points back of Powell River in the Island Division. The Kings also lost, falling 5-3 to Coquitlam on Friday.

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Victoria’s Ayden MacDonald (26) tries to make his way past a trio of Chilliwack defenders including defenceman Oliver Arseneau (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Grizzlies now make the long trek to Prince George to take on the Spruce Kings Saturday.

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Victoria’s PJ Conlan tees up a shot during the third period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Game Notes: Michael Stiliadis took the loss in net, making 21 saves on 24 shots. Backup Sean Cleary has not made the trip with the team (lower body injury). Also absent was Garrett Forster (upper body). Thomas Gobeil drew back in, as did Ayden MacDonald, both who did not play last game. Chris Smith is on board as the backup goalie for the weekend. Brett Gruber and Matthew Kennedy both had assists on Gibson’s two goals.

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