The Victoria Grizzlies and Penticton Vees engaged in a tight contest in the British Columbia Hockey League’s marquee matchup on Saturday night.
Victoria took more than 50 minutes to find the back of the net, but goaltender Matthew Galajda kept the game within reach until the offence kicked in and gave the Grizzlies a 2-1 win in double overtime.
The Grizzlies (Now 33-10-3-4, 73 points) move six points ahead of the Powell River Kings for first place in the BCHL’s Island Division and remain second in the league’s overall standings behind the Wenatchee Wild (80 points).
Penticton (Now 34-12-2-1, 71 points) now leads the Interior Division by eight points over the Vernon Vipers and stay third overall in the league.
Both goaltenders; Galajda for Victoria and Matthew Robson for the Vees, were strong in the first 20 minutes and sent the game into the second period scoreless.
The second period was ruled by the netminders as well, with the Grizzlies best opportunity coming midway through the frame when they failed to capitalize on a four-minute powerplay.
Just as the second was about to expire, Penticton broke the ice when Duncan Campbell beat Galajda for his eighth goal of the season with just five seconds remaining in the period.
The Vees carried their 1-0 lead past the midway point of the third period and were less than seven minutes from victory when Jamie Rome fired the equalizer for Victoria, tying the game at one with his 19th goal of the year, sending the game to overtime.
Just under two minutes into double overtime, Nathan Looysen deposited the game winner, his 18th goal of the season behind Robson, giving the Grizzlies the 2-1 victory.
Galajda made 31 saves on 32 shots, earning the win for Victoria while Robson stopped 29 of 31 shots in goal for the Vees.
Powerplays were minimal with the Grizzlies finishing 0-2 while Penticton was 0-1.
Looysen led all skaters with two points (1 G, 1 A) while Rome’s tally extended his point-scoring streak to six games (4 G, 6 A, 10 P).
The Grizzlies return to action on Wednesday, February 8 when they visit the Powell River Kings.