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Victoria Grizzlies act on mission to win

BRIAN DREWRY / TIMES COLONIST
Photograph By DARREN STONE, Times Colonist
OCTOBER 6, 2017 10:41 PM

T.J. Friedmann is a man on a mission.

And the Victoria Grizzlies are reaping the benefits.

Friedmann had a goal and an assist Friday night at The Q Centre to pace the Grizzlies to a 5-2 win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

Friedmann is one of several Grizzlies being watched closely by NCAA scouts as the St. Louis, Missouri, product has yet to commit to a school. But Friedmann is now 19 years old, so he knows time is of the essence for a scholarship.

“[A scholarship] has been my goal from the beginning. It’s why I came to Victoria,” Friedmann said after boosting his point totals to four goals and three assists in nine games.

“And I’m getting close. Talking to more schools now and even going for a [school] visit next week.”

Friedmann, in his second season with the Grizzlies after coming over midway through last season from the USHL, will depart Sunday for a trip to Albany, New York, to visit the campus of Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute.

“Should be fun. I’m really looking forward to it,” Friedmann said.

The speedy 6-foot-3 centre stood out at the recent BCHL Showcase and hasn’t missed a beat lately.

“Frieds is doing it all lately,” said Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon, after seeing his team improve to 6-3 on the season.

“He’s a big, fast centreman who can play the power play and the penalty kill so he’s a big part of our team.”

Friedmann helped set up linemate Justin Michaelian early in the second period for the game’s first goal as Victoria started slow against the last-place Capitals (1-8).

“They’re hard to play against because they work extremely hard,” said Didmon.

“It took us half a game to figure out how to get our offence going but once we did we just kept pushing and wore them down.”

Jamie Rome buried a breakaway past Caps netminder Adam Marcoux midway through the second to send the Grizzlies on their way.

Ethan Nother stretched the lead midway through the third and then Friedmann beat Marcoux with a high wrister a couple of minutes later. Marty Westhaver rounded out the Grizzlies scoring with his third in the last two games.

Shawn Parkinson picked up the win in goal for Victoria, making 28 saves.

Raphael Gosselin and Andrew McCann had the Cowichan goals.

The Grizzlies are back it tonight when they head up the Malahat to take on the Clippers in Nanaimo at 6 p.m. The Clippers edged Alberni Valley 2-1 on Friday night. The Grizzlies then make a trip to Trail next Friday to face the Smoke Eaters. That kicks off a three-games-in-three-days road trip that sees Victoria also make stops in Penticton next Saturday and Surrey next Sunday.

LOOSE PUCKS: The Grizzlies are facing some early-season injuries. Forwards Shawn O’Malley and Cam Thompson and defenceman Jacson Alexander all missed Friday’s game with ailments. Alexander could return tonight. . . . Following the road trip to the Interior, the Grizzlies return home Oct. 18 to face the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

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