Grizzlies swept in weekend set by Powell River

Victoria drops 5-3 final, division lead down to four points

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The Victoria Grizzlies’ once comfortable 12-point lead atop the British Columbia Hockey League’s Island Division has been slimmed to just four following a two-game sweep at the hands of the Powell River Kings.

Powell River finished the two-game sweep with a 4-3 win over the Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon, which follows a 4-2 win at the Q Centre on Saturday night. The Kings staked themselves to a two-goal lead after two periods on Sunday and were able to fend off a third period push by Victoria to hold on for the win.

Jamie Rome and Lucas Clark each tallied a goal and an assist for the Grizzlies, and Cam Thompson chipped in two assists in Sunday’s loss.

After the loss, the Grizzlies (Now 27-10-3-4, 61 points) have now lost four of their past six games.

Powell River (Now 28-16-1, 57 points) has won seven straight, including two in a row against Victoria, and now trail by just four points in the Island Division.

The Kings delivered an early blow to the home side, scoring on the first shot of the game just nine seconds in on Jonny Evans 24th goal of the season.

Victoria had a counter punch minutes later, in the form of Lucas Clark’s 10th goal of the year to tie the game at one apiece just before the seven-minute mark.

Much like Saturday night’s contest that the Kings eventually won 4-2, momentum continued to swing back and forth, shifting again on Liam Lawson’s 10th goal of the season, putting Powell River ahead again with less than two minutes remaining in the first period.

The Kings extended their lead early in the second period when Kyle Betts netted his first goal of the game to make it 3-1.

Victoria was able to mount a comeback early in the third period. First it was Jamie Rome cashing in his 16th goal of the year to cut the lead in half just under six minute into the final frame. Nathan Looysen followed just over a minute later with his 15th of the season to pull the Grizzlies even at three apiece.

Powell River had a quick answer, retaking a 4-3 lead just past the eight-minute mark of the third thanks to Tristan Mullin’s 26th of the year.

Netminder Brian Wilson steered Kings to victory the rest of the way, getting an insurance goal from Kyle Betts, his second goal of the afternoon and 18th of the year to seal the 5-3 victory.

Wilson made 28 saves on 31 shots in the win for Powell River while Tony Rehm stopped 32 of 37 shots in the loss.

The Kings were 1-4 on the powerplay while Victoria was 0-1.

Betts led all skaters with two goals for Powell River and was joined by teammate Evans as well as Rome, Clark and Thompson for Victoria, all with two points.

The Grizzlies wrap up their four-game homestand on Thursday, January 19 with a 7:00pm start against the Cowichan Valley Capitals at the Q Centre.

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