The Victoria Grizzlies headed to Powell River on Wednesday as they looked to expand on their four-point lead over the hometown Kings atop the British Columbia Hockey League’s Island Division.
Unfortunately three second-period goals for Powell River helped them past the Grizzlies by a 4-3 final at the Hap Parker Arena on Wednesday.
The Grizzlies (Now 33-11-3-4, 73 points) see their division lead cut to just two points after the loss, with seven games remaining in the regular season.
Powell River (Now 35-18-1, 71 points) have six games remaining on their schedule to try to close the gap. No head-to-head games remain between Victoria and the Kings in the regular season.
The Grizzlies opened the scoring midway through the first period on Cam Thompson’s 13th goal of the season.
It looked as if Powell River was going to go into the intermission tied after Carter Turnbull’s 24th goal of the season on the powerplay, but with 39 seconds remaining in the opening frame, Carter Berger’s fourth of the year put Victoria back in front, 2-1 after 20 minutes.
The first half of the middle period belonged to the Kings who tallied three straight goals to pull ahead, 4-2 midway through the game.
Hunter Findlater’s eighth goal of the year tied the game at two before two quick goals from Tristan Mullin, his 34th, and Jonny Evans’ 35th of the season gave Powell River their two-goal lead.
Victoria did get one back five minutes before the end of the second period when Timothy Friedmann’s 13th goal of the year brought the Grizzlies within a goal, 4-3 heading to the third.
Both teams went back and forth in the third but neither side was able to find the back of the net as the Kings held on for the 4-3 victory.
Matthew Galajda allowed four goals on 38 shots in the loss for the Grizzlies while Brian Wilson stopped 31 of 34 shots in the win for Powell River.
Both teams scored one powerplay goal. Victoria was 1 for 2 while the Kings went 1 for 4.
Powell River had four different goal scorers while Mullin (1 G, 1 A) and Kyle Betts (2 A) led the way with two points apiece.
Grizzlies captain Cody Van Lierop extended his point-scoring streak to five games (6 A) with an assist on Friedmann’s goal in the second period, and Cole Pickup registered his team-leading 62nd point with his assist on Thompson’s goal in the first period.
Three players scored and eight players counted one point each for Victoria.
The Grizzlies return home to the Q Centre in Victoria to host the Merritt Centennials on Saturday at 7:00pm and then the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Sunday at 2:00pm.