The Victoria Grizzlies and Chilliwack Chiefs played game one of the Coastal Conference Final in the British Columbia Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup playoffs on Friday night in Chilliwack.
The Grizzlies could not dig out of a deep hole they built for themselves in the first period, spotting Chilliwack a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes, ultimately falling by a score of 7-3.
Chilliwack takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Jake Smith opened the scoring on the powerplay 1:50 in for Chilliwack, tallying his third goal of the playoffs.
The Chiefs held a decided edge in play and shots on goal, and at 7:14, extended their lead to 2-0 on a shorthanded goal from Tommy Lee, his first of the postseason.
The home side continued pouring it on and stretched their lead to three on Carver Watson’s first goal of the playoffs at 13:14.
Chilliwack’s powerplay struck for the second time at 15:57 when Will Caverley capitalized for his second of the playoffs, vaulting the Chiefs in front by four.
Jamie Rome got the Grizzlies on the board just before the intermission, delivering his team-leading eighth goal of the playoffs on the powerplay with just 11 seconds remaining in the first period.
It took the Chiefs just 62 seconds to re-extend their lead when the second period began. Anthony Vincent’s first goal of the night made it 5-1 before the ice was dry in the middle frame.
Tony Rehm took over in goal for Victoria after Vincent’s marker. Matthew Galajda exited having allowed five goals on 15 shots.
Vincent’s second goal of the game and fourth of the playoffs made it 6-1 Chilliwack, four minutes into the third period.
At 6:21, Timothy Friedmann scored his third of the playoffs for Victoria to make the score 6-2.
Ben Fanjoy got on the score sheet with his fifth goal of the playoffs at 9:46 of the third period to make the score 7-2 for the Chiefs.
Cody Van Lierop picked up his first goal of the playoffs, the Grizzlies second powerplay marker of the game, at 18:29 to bring the game to its 7-3 final.
Both powerplays were clicking on Friday with Victoria finishing 2-5 on the man advantage and the Chiefs going 3-5.
The Grizzlies outshot Chilliwack, 33-32.
Rehm stopped 15 of 17 shots in relief for Victoria.
Mark Sinclair started in goal for the Chiefs and earned the win, making 22 stops on 24 shots. Mathieu Caron played the final eight minutes, stopping eight of nine shots.
Chilliwack’s Jordan Kawaguchi was the leading point getter, collecting six assists, which moves him into the league lead in playoff scoring with 21 points (7 G, 14 A). Vincent’s two goals led all skaters.
The Grizzlies had three different goal scorers and seven players who recorded a single point.
Game two goes Saturday night in Chilliwack at 7:00pm. The series shifts to Victoria for games three and four, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 4 and 5. Both games are 7:00pm starts at the Q Centre.