The Victoria Grizzlies played their final game before the Christmas break on Sunday when they hosted the Prince George Spruce Kings.
Led by a hat trick and four points from Jamie Rome, the Grizzlies skated past Prince George 6-2 in the final game at the Q Centre in the calendar year.
With the win, the Grizzlies (Now 23-6-3-4, 53 points) now own a commanding ten point lead atop the British Columbia Hockey League’s Island Division, and sit third overall in the league, five points behind the Wenatchee Wild and four back of the Penticton Vees.
Prince George (Now 16-14-2-2, 36 points) remain one point behind the Langley Rivermen for third place in the BCHL’s Mainland Division having now lost both meetings with the Grizzlies (Lost 4-1 on December 2).
The scoreless tie didn’t last long in a high-flying opening period that started with Marty Westhaver breaking the ice with his fourth goal of the season, giving the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead just over two minutes in to the game.
Prince George tied the game on Travis Schneider’s eighth goal of the year midway through the first period, but the Grizzlies ended the period with a flurry resulting in two timely goals to establish a two-goal advantage.
With just over three minutes to go in the first, Jamie Rome cashed in his 12th goal of the season and then with just 15 seconds remaining, Cole Pickup’s 15th of the year made it 3-1 Victoria.
The goal was Pickup’s third in his last four games.
Victoria’s 3-1 lead stood up until Ben Poisson netted his seventh goal of the season on the powerplay for the Spruce Kings, cutting the lead to one with just over seven minutes remaining in the second period.
A critical four-minute penalty kill early in the third period presented the Grizzlies the chance to extend their lead when Cameron Thompson wired his ninth goal of the season to put Victoria ahead 4-2.
Jamie Rome’s second and third goals of the game came in the back half of the third period, giving him 14 for the season and iced the 6-2 victory for the Grizzlies.
Both goaltenders saw plenty of action throughout the game. Grizzlies’ netminder Tony Rehm made 44 saves on 46 shots while Prince George’s Tavin Grant faced 35 shots, making 29 saves.
Prince George was 1-6 on the powerplay while the Grizzlies were 1-2.
Jamie Rome led all skaters with his hat trick and four points for the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies return to action after the Christmas break on December 30 when they visit the Cowichan Valley Capitals to begin a five-game road trip. Victoria’s next home game takes place on January 12 when the Nanaimo Clippers visit the Q Centre.