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October 3rd, 2014
Puck Drop at 7:00 PM

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Puck Drop at 6:00 PM

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Puck Drop at 2:00 PM

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GRIZZLIES CLIPPED IN NANAIMO
Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Submitted by Christian J. Stewart - Independent Sports News

September 27, 2014, Nanaimo, BC (ISN) - The Victoria Grizzlies did everything they could, firing 49 shots at the Nanaimo net, but they would come up short, falling 4-3 at the hands of the Clippers in BC Hockey League action Saturday night at Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo.

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Nanaimo's Jacob Hanlon (9 left) looks for an open man in the slot as he is pressured by Victoria's Meirs Moore during second period action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Grizzlies efforts were thwarted by Nanaimo goaltender Guillaume Decelles who was particularly huge in the third period, stopping 21 of the 22 Grizzlies shots fired at him in the final frame.

The game was a back and forth affair and while the Grizzlies dominated the early part of the first period, it would be the Clippers who hit the scoresheet first, when Devin Brosseau would score off the rush - his third of the season - converting a nice passing play from Sheldon Rempal and Brendan Taylor.

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Nanaimo defenceman Kale Bennett carries the puck from behind his net while being chased by Victoria's Dane Gibson in first period action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Grizzlies would get that back just over two minutes later while on the powerplay, when Dane Gibson would take the puck in the corner and snap a pretty pass to defenceman Zach Dixon who had snuck down off the point. Dixon would make no mistake in getting the puck over Decelles to tie things 1-1, a score that would hold until the first intermission.

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The Grizzlies Zach Dixon begins to celebrate his first period goal against the Clippers (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The second period was a closely played battle and saw both teams have powerplay chances in the first half, with neither able to score. The 1-1 tie would hold until 13:41 mark when Ryan Forbes would put the Clippers ahead. Victoria goaltender Michael Stiliadis would make a nice save on a wrap-around attempt by the Clippers Spencer Hewson, but the rebound would come to the slot and find the stick of Forbes, who lofted it over the fallen Grizzlies goaltender for his first of the season.

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Dane Gibson (right), who would finish with a goal and an assist for the Grizzlies, here looks for a way to get the puck up and over a reaching Nanaimo goaltender Guillaume Decelles during the first period Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

That lead would not last long, as just 1:26 later, the Grizzlies Jay Mackie would head to the net after a face-off, pick up a Matthew Kennedy rebound and sweep it in past a sprawling Decelles to tie things up again 2-2.

Just when it looked like the teams would head to the break tied, the Grizzlies Cole Pickup took what proved to be a costly penalty with 1:29 remaining. On the ensuing powerplay, a Clipper rush into the Grizzlies zone resulted in a goal by Sheldon Rempal with just 35 seconds remaining in the frame to give the home side a 3-2 lead into the break.

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Nanaimo's Ryan Forbes (22), who would score one of the Clipper's goals, fights his way past Grizzlies defender Chris Harpur in second period action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The back and forth game continued in the third, with both teams having chances, but it would be the Grizzlies who struck first at 7:38 when Dane Gibson tipped a point shot by Zach Dixon that looked to have snuck through the armour of Nanaimo goalie Decelles, but sat agonizingly in the crease. Gibson saw this and made a great second effort to follow up his shot and bang the rebound home to once again tie the game.

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Victoria forward Brett Gruber leads his team up the ice in the second period against Nanaimo (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The see-saw battle would continue and Nanaimo would take the lead again just over two minutes later on another powerplay goal, this time when Cole Maier got just enough stick on a Brett Roulston shot to tip it between the pads of Stiliadis and into the net, giving the Clippers the 4-3 lead.

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Victoria's Cole Pickup (right) gets to the puck first, ahead of Nanaimo defender Kale Bennett during the third period Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

After that, it was all Grizzlies and they threw everything but the kitchen sink at Decelles, all to no avail, as the 6'3" native of Joliette, Quebec held his ground to give the Clippers their second win in a row at home and hand the Grizzlies their second straight loss in as many nights on the road.

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Nanaimo goaltender Guillaume Decelles makes one of his 46 saves on this wrap-around attempt by the Grizzlies Matt Kennedy in the third period (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In addressing the team following the game, Grizzlies Head Coach Brad Knight praised them for their third period effort, "You know we had some ups and downs in that game, but I really appreciate that effort in the third period. That was much better [than the second] and it gives us something to build on heading into our home opener next Friday. We need to realize though, that every team is going to be ready to play their top game against us, they want to beat us, and we have to be ready for that each and every game. It's not going to be easy. We are going to have to work hard for every win we get."

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The Grizzlies Zach Dixon would finish with a goal and an assist in the loss to Nanaimo (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Assistant Coach Micah Aivazoff echoed those comments, "At the beginning of the year, the guys need to learn that winning is hard, otherwise everyone would be doing it. Brad said it really well in that everyone is going to be gunning for us and they will be putting out their best efforts. As such, we have to be ready to play a full 60 minutes. Tonight we basically played only half a game and we lost by a goal. If we play half a game all year, we'll always lose by a goal. It's learning how to win and this group learning what it takes to win. And we've got lots to learn."

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Nanaimo Captain Brendan Taylor (19), who would earn a pair of assists on the night, battles for position following a face-off with the Grizzlies Brett Gruber (8)(Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The loss drops the Grizzlies record to 2-2 and they now sit tied with Nanaimo in first place, with four points each, in the Island Division. Alberni and Cowichan are two points back, while Powell River sits in last at a surprising 0-3-0-1 in their first four games.

The Grizzlies will now get ready for their home opener on Friday October 3rd, when they host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Puck drop at The Q Centre is at 7:00 pm. Come on out and get your first look at the 2014-2015 squad and root the Grizzlies on to victory!

Please visit this story and others on the Independent Sports News website at http://www.independentsportsnews.com/victoria-grizzlies

More photos from this game and other Grizzlies games by photographer Christian J. Stewart are available at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/grizzlies 

Follow Christian J. Stewart on Twitter @cjs_photography
Follow ISN on Twitter @islandsports1

 

(Regular Season) Game
October 3rd, 2014 at 7:00 PM
 

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