Grizzlies unable to tame the Wild

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The Victoria Grizzlies headed south for the British Columbia Hockey League’s marquee matchup with the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday night.

The Wild were too much for Victoria on this night, as the Grizzlies were unable to fight out of a deep hole for the second straight night, resulting in a 4-1 loss.

Timothy Friedmann picked up the lone goal for the Grizzlies who have now lost two consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season.

The Grizzlies (Now, 25-8-3-4, 57 points) fall seven points behind Wenatchee for first place overall in the BCHL. They still occupy top spot in the Island Division by eight points over the Powell River Kings.

Wenatchee (Now 30-6-4, 64 points) has now won two straight, shaking off an 0-1-2 record in their final three games in the month of December.

The hometown Wild came out strong and opened the scoring just two minutes in thanks to Troy Conzo’s 14th goal of the season. Wenatchee fired 19 shots at Grizzlies goaltender Matthew Galajda in the first period.

Play evened in the second period but the Wild netted three goals in the middle frame to take control of the game.

Wenatchee extended their lead with a quick goal from Jimmy O’Brien, his fifth, and then Brendan Harris’ 17th of the season to open up a three-goal lead.

Timothy Friedmann got Victoria on the board with his 11th goal of the year but Wenatchee re-established their three-goal lead, jumping ahead 4-1 in the final minute of the second period on AJ Vanderbeck’s 28th of the season.

The Wild controlled much of the third period, which passed without further scoring, sealing the 4-1 Wenatchee victory.

Devin Cooley stopped 22 of 23 shots in the win for the Wild. Matthew Galajda made 38 saves on 42 shots in defeat for Victoria.

The Grizzlies went 0-4 on the powerplay and Wenatchee was 0-5.

With an assist on Friedmann’s second period goal, Nathan Looysen extended his personal point-scoring streak to four games (1 G, 4 A).

The Grizzlies conclude their five-game road trip on Sunday against the Surrey Eagles.

Victoria’s next home game takes place on January 12 when the Nanaimo Clippers visit the Q Centre to begin a four game home stand for the Grizzlies.

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