The Victoria Grizzlies and Chilliwack Chiefs played game two of the Coastal Conference Final in the British Columbia Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup playoffs on Saturday night in Chilliwack.
A late second period goal from Keyvan Mokhtari was all the offence the Grizzlies would need as he netted the game’s only two goals and Matthew Galajda made 37 saves for his third shutout of the playoffs and a 2-0 win.
The best-of-seven series is now tied one game apiece heading back to Victoria to games three and four.
Saturday’s game featured tight checking in the early going with both teams misfiring on a powerplay opportunity in a scoreless first period.
Chilliwack began to carry play in the second period with Galajda making 13 saves in the period, but it was Victoria who opened the scoring. Intensity ramped up in the second period, with coincidental roughing minors called in the opening and in the closing moments of the period.
With 1:02 remaining in the second, Keyvan Mokhtari opened the scoring for the Grizzlies ripping his second goal of the playoffs past Chilliwack goaltender Mark Sinclair on the powerplay. Cody Van Lierop and Tyler Welsh drew the assists, sending Victoria into the final 20 minutes of regulation looking to split the first two games of the series in Chilliwack.
With the 1-0 lead, the Grizzlies hopped on Galajda’s back in the third period. The day after allowing five goals on 15 shots in game one, Victoria’s netminder made 37 saves highlighted by a busy third period when his team was outshot, 17-3 by Chilliwack, safeguarding the 2-0 victory.
The final shot clock read 37-17 Chilliwack.
Mokhtari fired his second goal of the game and third of the playoffs into an empty net with 1:15 remaining in the third.
Sinclair stopped 15 of the 16 shots he faced in the loss for the Chiefs.
Victoria finished 1-2 on the powerplay while Chilliwack was 0-2.
Mokhtari led all point-getters with his two goals.
The series now shifts to Victoria for game three and four on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Q Centre at 7:00pm.