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Grizzlies claw out overtime win over Vees

Image Credit: Contributed
February 05, 2017 - 12:40 PM

VICTORIA, BC- The much anticipated clash of Division leaders didn’t disappoint Saturday, as the Victoria Grizzlies clawed out a 2-1 double-overtime win over the Penticton Vees at The Q Centre.

Nathan Looysen was the OT hero for Victoria, scoring on a nifty deke 1:50 into three-on-three, securing the extra point for the home side. It was Looysen’s second point of the game, as he assisted on the Grizzlies’ only goal in regulation, when Jamie Rome scored in the third period.

After a scoreless first period, Duncan Campbell scored in the dying seconds of the second period, to hand the Vees a 1-0 lead through 40-minutes.

Mat Robson and Matthew Galajda put on a goaltending exhibition, as the two puck-stoppers combined for 59 saves in regulation. Robson was named the game’s third star, stopping 29 of 31 Grizzlies’ shots and Galajda took home second star honours after kicking-out 31 of 32 pucks fired his way.

It was no surprise it was a fast-paced, tight-checking contest, as the Vees and Grizzlies are the top two defensive teams in the BCHL. It took nearly 40-minutes to break the scoreless deadlock but the Vees did so in just the nick of time.

Chris Klack charged down the right-wing, racing into the Victoria end and against the clock. As the final seconds of the second period ticked down, Klack fired a cross-ice pass over to Campbell, which he smacked in on the far-side with just five-seconds left in the frame; his first in four games and eighth overall.

The Vees took that one-goal lead into the intermission and it was all the more impressive, considering they had to kill-off a four-minute penalty earlier in the period when Cole Pickup got high-sticked. Robson made a couple of nice stops during that extended penalty-kill, including a sharp looking glove save on Cater Berger from the point.

Victoria managed to tie it up midway through the third period, as Looysen used a fortuitous bounce to setup Rome. From the right-wing corner, the puck came to Looysen and he  fired a pass out to Rome in the near-circle and he went upstairs on Robson at 12:34.

Griffin Mendel had a great chance towards the end of regulation to break the 1-1 tie. Sillinger grabbed the puck in the corner, fed Mendel in the right-wing circle, but Galajda got a shoulder to Mendel’s blast from in close.

The Vees had the decided advantage in the first overtime, as they outshot the Grizzlies 4-2 but couldn’t manufacture a game-winner. Their best chance came when Grant Cruikshank almost capitalized on a turnover at centre. The puck was bobbled by a Victoria defenceman and Cruikshank quickly turned back the other way with it. However, his shot from the right-wing, as he was being chased by a defender, was smothered by Galajda, who stabbed his blocker out at the puck.

In three-on-three overtime, Victoria’s Nathan Looysen carried down the left-wing, sliced to the middle, pulling the puck up through his legs in the process, and then outwaited Robson with a quick deke to the backhand.

Final Score: 2-1 Grizzlies

Shots: 32-31 Vees

Power-Plays: Vees 0-1 Victoria 0-2

Three Stars: 1) Nathan Looysen 2) Matthew Galajda 3) Mat Robson

Vees Notes: The Vees record against the Island Division dropped to 6-2-0-1 in the loss; their overtime record slipped to 8-2-1. Penticton played with only five regular defencemen for the second straight night, as Gabe Bast, Sam Rossini and Mitch Meek all didn’t dress. Despite the loss and Vernon’s win earlier Saturday against Trail, the Vees are still eight points up on the Vipers for top spot in the Interior. Penticton and Victoria meet again at the SOEC on February 19th.

Penticton (34-12-1-2) is back in action Wednesday, February 8th, when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters; it’s the start of a home and home that week between the two. It’s also a BCAA Wicked Wednesday, as tickets are just $5 for adults and seniors; local students and children (18 and under) get in for free courtesy of Peter Bros. Construction

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
InfoTel News Ltd

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