The Victoria Grizzlies began a two-game home series with the Powell River Kings on Saturday at the Q Centre, with a chance to widen their lead atop the British Columbia Hockey League’s Island Division.
Powell River wasn’t willing to play along, taming the Grizzlies offence and getting enough of their own for a 3-2 win in the front end of the weekend set. Carter Turnbull (2 G) and Tristan Mullin (1 G, 1 A) led the way for the Kings including the game-winning goal in the third period.
The Grizzlies (27-9-3-4, 61 points) have now lost three of their last five games and have seen their division lead cut to six points in that time.
Powell River (27-16-1, 55 points) is playing some of their best hockey of the season, cutting Victoria’s division lead in half with six straight wins, outscoring opponents 42-11 in those games.
The Kings opened the scoring eight minutes in when Carter Turnbull banged home his 16th goal of the season past Tony Rehm on a goal mouth scramble to give the visitors the early lead.
Rehm made third straight start in goal for Victoria, having posted a 2-1 record in his last three games prior to Saturday, including one relief appearance, allowing just three goals on 95 shots.
The 1-0 lead stood up until Victoria struck for two goals in 35 seconds midway through the second period to take a one-goal lead of their own.
First it was Cam Thompson tipping home his 12th goal of the year on a shot by Jake Stevens, followed on the ensuing sequence by Justin Michaelian burying his seventh to put the Grizzlies ahead, 2-1.
Powell River had an answer of their own with just over five minutes remaining in the second, tying the game at two on Cam Donaldson’s team-leading 30th goal of the season. Donaldson is second in the BCHL in goal scoring.
The Grizzlies found themselves in penalty trouble early in the third period, but were able to kill off a two-man disadvantage in the opening minutes of the final frame to keep the game level at two apiece.
Powell River reclaimed the lead during four-on-four play when Tristan Mullin slid his 25th goal of the season past Rehm for the 3-2 advantage, just over five minutes into the third.
Kings netminder Mitch Adamyk made some key saves down the stretch, guiding his team to the 4-2 win after a late empty-net goal by Carter Turnbull, his second tally of the night.
Adamyk stopped 23 of 25 Victoria shots in a winning effort, while Rehm made 27 saves on 30 shots in the loss.
Both teams misfired on the powerplay with the Grizzlies finishing 0-3 and Powell River going 0-6.
With assists on the Michaelian goal in the second period, Timothy Friedman extends his point-scoring streak to four games (2 G, 2 A) and Shawn O’Malley has recorded points (1 G, 1 A) in each of his first two BCHL games after being acquired from the Shreveport Mudbugs of the North American Hockey League.
The Grizzlies and Kings play the second half of their weekend set on Sunday afternoon with puck drop at 1:00pm at the Q Centre. Victoria wraps up their homestand on Thursday, January 19 when they entertain the Cowichan Valley Capitals in a 7:00pm start.