The Victoria Grizzlies surged ahead early and fended off a third period push to defeat the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for their second win in as many days.
Keyvan Mokhtari and Lucas Clark led the way with two goals apiece in leading the Grizzlies past the Silverbacks by a 5-3 final.
The Grizzlies (Now 35-11-3-4, 77 points) sweep their two-game weekend homestand and have opened up a six-point lead over the Powell River Kings for the lead in the British Columbia Hockey League’s Island Division.
Salmon Arm (Now 19-27-3-3, 44 points) sits sixth in the BCHL’s Interior Division with six games remaining on their slate.
The Grizzlies opened the scoring just over six minutes in, striking on the tail end of a five-on-three powerplay thanks to Mokhtari’s first goal of the game, and converted again on the remaining powerplay just 29 seconds later with Clark’s 14th to surge ahead by a pair.
Victoria widened their lead to 5-1 on the strength of three goals in the second period. Mokhtari and Clark each collected their second goals of the game before Nick Guiney finished the frame with his 15th of the season.
With their multi-goal games, Mokhtari ups his season total to 18 while Clark now has 15 on the season.
Salmon Arm’s lone tally of the period came from Carson Bolduc’s first of two goals in the game, coming five minutes into the second, to cut the Grizzlies lead to 3-1 at the time.
Down 5-1 entering the third, the Silverback didn’t go away and made it 5-2 in the opening minutes of the period when Jared Turcotte cashed in his 12th goal of the season. Continued pressure throughout the period resulted in Carson Bolduc’s second of the game and 18th of the year to make the score 5-3 for Victoria with inside four minutes remaining.
That is as close as Salmon Arm would come as the Grizzlies held on for the 5-3 victory.
Tony Rehm got the start in goal for Victoria, stopping 25 of 28 shots in the win. Nic Tallarico took the loss for the Silverbacks, allowing five goals on 39 shots.
The Grizzlies finished 2-5 on the powerplay while Salmon Arm finished 0-3.
Five players recorded two points for Victoria.
The Grizzlies have secured a berth in the BCHL playoffs. They now lead Powell River by six points for the Island Division title with five games remaining. Victoria also has one game in-hand on the Kings.
The Grizzlies now embark on a four-game road trip beginning Friday, February 17 in Vernon. They return home for the final game of the regular season on Saturday, February 25 when the Nanaimo Clippers visit the Q Centre for the final time.