Grizzlies take down Alberni Valley, 5-3

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The Victoria Grizzlies received offence from an unlikely source on Wednesday night, propelling them past the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Carter Berger cashed in his first two goals of the season and Keyvan Mokhtari added a pair for Victoria leading them to their 30th win of the season, 5-3 over Alberni Valley.

The Grizzlies (Now 30-10-3-4, 67 points) extend their lead in the British Columbia Hockey League’s Island Division to six point over the Powell River Kings.

Alberni Valley (Now 14-23-6-2, 36 points) remains fifth in the Island Division.

The Grizzlies jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead before the game was four minutes old thanks to Keyvan Mokhtari’s first of two goals on the night just 25 seconds into the game and then Lukas Clark’s 11th little more than three minutes later.

Victoria played a strong opening period, outshooting the Bulldogs 18-6, but Alberni Valley had a counter-punch in a wild second period.

Trevor Cosgrove cut into the lead, capitalizing on his 12th goal of the year in the opening minutes of the second, followed near the midway point of the frame by Connor Welsh’s fifth to knot the game at two apiece.

The Grizzlies regained a momentary 3-2 lead on Carter Berger’s first goal of the year. Just over a minute later, Alberni Valley pulled even again after Nicholas Rasovic buried his second goal of the year, and with less than five minutes remaining in the middle period, Carter Berger’s second of the night re-established a 4-3 Grizzlies lead.

Victoria goaltender Matthew Galajda stabilized the game in the third period, turning aside six shots in the period to guide the Grizzlies to the 5-3 victory. Mokhtari potted an empty net goal, his second goal of the night and 15th of the season.

Galajda made 23 saves on 26 shots in the game.

Buldogs’ netminder Brody Claeys stopped 32 of 36 shots in the loss.

Victoria was 0-4 on the powerplay while the Bulldogs went 1-2.

Berger and Mokhtari were the game’s leading goal scorers with two apiece.

Alberni Valley’s Jake Witkowski was the game’s leading point-getter with three assists.

The Grizzlies return to action on Friday when they entertain the West Kelowna Warriors at the Q Centre. Puck drop is 7:00pm.

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