Grizzlies force game seven

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The Victoria Grizzlies and Powell River Kings played game six of the Island Division Final in the British Columbia Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup playoffs on Saturday night, with Powell River looking to wrap up the series and end the Grizzlies’ season.

The hometown Kings built an early lead on Saturday and looked poised to end the Grizzlies season. However, four unanswered goals in the final two periods and strong work in goal by Matthew Galajda allowed the Grizzlies to take a 4-2 victory, setting up game seven back in Victoria.

The series is now tied three games apiece, setting up a winner-take-all game seven on Monday.

The Grizzlies were undisciplined early on, taking three penalties in the opening minutes. Although they were able to kill off the early shorthanded situation, the ice was tilted towards Victoria’s net, allowing the hometown Kings to gain early momentum with the chance to end the series.

Cam Donaldson opened the scoring for Powell River, counting his fifth goal of the playoffs at 5:54.  Sustained pressure resulted in a two-goal lead for the Kings just past the midway point of the opening period as Josh Coblenz got on the score sheet with his first of the playoffs at 10:15.

Galajda was under siege early in the Victoria net, facing 19 shots in the first period as his team trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes.

Play began to even out in the second period and Victoria was able to get on the board thanks to Tyler Welsh picking up his second goal of the playoffs, cutting the deficit to one.

The score remained 2-1 in favour of the Kings through 40 minutes as Brian Wilson turned aside 20 of 21 Grizzlies shots in the second period.

The Grizzlies continued to pressure as the third began, and were rewarded.  6:58 into the final stanza, Jamie Rome tallied his team-leading sixth goal of the playoffs to tie the game. Rome’s goal came on the powerplay which was a modest 1-8 on Saturday, but converted at a crucial time.

Rome’s tying marker was followed by the go-ahead goal from Nick Guiney, his third of the playoffs, just 29 seconds later.

The Grizzlies leaned on Galajda the rest of the way as the netminder made 11 of his 40 saves in the third period, closing out the 4-2 victory.

Guiney potted his second of the game with 45 seconds remaining to ice the win.

Powell River’s powerplay misfired, going 0-5 in the loss.  Wilson made 39 saves on 43 shots in goal for the Kings.

Guiney led all skaters with his two goals while Keyvan Mokhtari was the game’s leading point-getter with three assists.

Game seven will be played on Monday in Victoria. Game time is 7:00pm at the Q Centre.

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