Friday night in Victoria between the Grizzlies and Rivermen was anything but a blowout. The Grizzlies had the score “13-2” written on the board in their locker room to remind the team what happened on January 28th in Langley. The ‘Grizz played an inspired game and were able to skate away with a 4-3 victory on home ice. It was a pretty wide open affair with chances being given back and forth all night long between the teams.
The first half of the opening period was controlled mostly by the Grizzlies. Chase Kaiser jumped on a loose puck on a power play in front of James Barr to get the games first marker. Late in the period when the Rivermen got it going, Jackson Playfair evened up the score on a shot in tight that slipped by the blocker side of Taylor Pears. The whole play started on a great heads up move by Austin Plevy who showed great patience waiting for Playfair to join the rush. Playfair then returned the favour to Plevy in the second period as he played set up man this time around. The Langley rookie blew past the Grizzlies defense and put a perfect pass on the tape of Plevy who buried his 11th of the year to give the Rivermen their first lead. The lead did not last long due to a Myles Powell goal and once again the game was tied. A shift later, Ben Greiner made good of a slick cross ice pass from Mario Puskarich and the Rivermen were up once more. The back and forth play continued as Coltyn Hansen capped off the entertaining period scoring for the Grizzlies on a rebound off of Barr. With the game in the late stages at a 3-3 tie, Cameron Lawson ripped a shot past Barr on a Victoria man advantage with just over five minutes left to give the home side a late lead. Things got rough right after the goal as Jackson Playfair and Austin Plevy both fought on the same shift and eventually were tossed out of the game. They each racked up seven penalty minutes each and was pretty much the game right there as the Grizzlies closed the game out on a lengthy power play.
Taylor Pears was named the first star of the game facing 38 shots. It was an entertaining game from start to finish and for the Grizzlies it was their first home win since December 2nd. With the win the Grizzlies move into sixth place, while the Rivermen move down to eighth.