Two Island Division rivals will renew acquaintances in the second round of the British Columbia Hockey League’ Fred Page Cup playoffs, when the Victoria Grizzlies take on the Powell River Kings.
Victoria is the top seed in the Island Division playoff bracket, as regular season division winners (37-12-5-4, 83 points). They earned a spot in the second round by dispatching the Nanaimo Clippers in five games in the first round.
Powell River is the second seed in the Island Division playoffs (37-19-1-1, 76 points) and punched their ticket to the second round with an opening round sweep of the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
The Grizzlies overcame an early season deficit to Powell River in the standings to win the division, but it was the Kings winning the final three games head-to-head between the teams to win the season series, 5-3.
Victoria has been led all season by 20-year old forward Cole Pickup who recorded career highs in goals (27), assists (38) and points (65) in 53 games during his fourth full season with the Grizzlies.
Pickup was tied for the Grizzlies team lead with three goals in the first round while recording a team-best seven points in five games.
Jamie Rome and Jake Stevens also picked up three goals apiece against Nanaimo, each recording five points.
19-year old goaltender Matthew Galajda was 25-10-2 with three shutouts and a 2.33 goals against average in his second season in Victoria. He was sharp in the opening round of the playoffs, starting all five games, going 4-1 with a 1.80 GAA and a game one shutout.
Powell River was led offensively in the regular season by the duo of Jonny Evans and Tristan Mullin. Both scored a team-leading 36 goals with Evans leading the team with 78 points and Mullin following with 70.
Evans and Mullin paced the Kings offense in their sweep of Cowichan Valley, each putting up six points with Evans leading with four goals and Mullin following with three.
Brian Wilson held the edge over Mitch Adamyk in the battle for the crease in Powell River, posting 22 wins in 38 games with a 2.70 GAA and three shutouts.
Wilson carried the load in the first round going undefeated in four games with a 1.98 GAA, a .927 save-percentage and a shutout.
The Grizzlies hold home-ice advantage in the best-of-seven series, which begins in Victoria on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18.
Powell River then hosts games three and four on March 20-21. If necessary, Victoria would host game five and seven on March 23 and 27. Game six would be played in Powell River on March 25.