The Victoria Grizzlies outlasted the Powell River Kings in a thrilling seven-game second round series and now have their sights set on the BCHL Coastal Conference Final where they will face off against the Chilliwack Chiefs in the Fred Page Cup Playoffs.
Victoria, the Island Division regular season winners with 83 points, have defeated the Nanaimo Clippers in five games and Powell River in seven, en route to the conference final.
The Chiefs, who finished second in the Mainland Division with 88 points, took out the Langley Rivermen in six games before sweeping the league’s regular season champions, the Wenatchee Wild to reach this point.
The Grizzlies faced elimination in the second round, down 3-2 to Kings before winning game six in Powell River and taking the series in a thrilling double overtime game seven victory in Victoria. Game seven was played before a boisterous crowd of 1,705 fans at the Q Centre.
Victoria’s regular season scoring leader Cole Pickup has continued to pace the team’s offensive attack in the postseason, accumulating 14 points in 12 games (5 G, 9 A). After turning in a solid 20-goal regular season, Jamie Rome has caught fire, tallying seven goals in the first two playoff rounds.
Matthew Galajda has carried the load in net during the playoffs and has been outstanding. The Grizzlies’ 19-year old goaltender is 8-4 with a 1.85 goals against average and a .943 save percentage through the first two rounds.
The Grizzlies and Chiefs split their two-game season series with Chilliwack picking up one more point for an overtime loss. Both games however, were played early in the season in the month of October.
Jordan Kawaguchi and Kohen Olischefski were one-two Chiefs’ scoring during the regular season and have continued to lead the way thus far in the playoffs.
Kawaguchi leads the team in goals with seven and points with 15, with Olischefski close behind with six goals and 10 points.
Chiefs goaltender Mark Sinclar was 33-12 in 45 regular season games, and has started all 10 playoff games going 8-2 with a 2.09 GAA and a .927 save percentage.
The winner of the Coastal Conference Final will advance to play the winner of the Penticton Vees and Vernon Vipers series.
The Coastal Conference Final begins in Chilliwack on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1.
Victoria will host games three and four on Tuesday, April 4 and Wednesday, April 5.
If necessary, Chilliwack would host games five and seven on April 7 and 10, with game six being played in Victoria on Saturday, April 8.
All games in Victoria begin at 7:00pm at the Q Centre.