The Victoria Grizzlies are hoping the return of Owen Bohn, missing last week to illness, will be what it takes to get back on winning ice in the B.C. Hockey League.
And they were right. Bohn did just that Friday night in Duncan as the veteran winger set up Nathan King for a power-play goal with eight minutes left in the third period that proved to be the winning goal as the Grizzlies beat the Cowichan Valley Capitals 4-2 at the Cowichan Community Centre.
“He is our second-leading scorer and you can’t replicate those guys,” said Grizzlies GM and head coach Rylan Ferster.
“Bohn is a heavy-minutes guy for us.”
Ferster has a long association with the native of Morgan Hill, California, since Bohn played for Ferster’s Philadelphia Hockey Club in youth elite. The 20-year-old has more than shown he was a good off-season acquisition with 19 goals and 19 assists in 39 games heading into Friday’s night’s game against the Capitals.
That production has not gone unnoticed and landed the five-foot-11 winger an athletic scholarship to Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, just as the Vikings move up to NCAA Division 1 in 2023-24.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies (21-14-7) are in fifth place and trying to track down a top-four finish in the Coastal Conference table and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Victoria trails third-place Alberni Valley by three points but has two games in hand on the Bulldogs.
“All these points really matter, especially now after dropping two games last weekend,” said Ferster.
The Grizzlies, who also got goals Friday night from Justin Gibson, Olivier Picard and Eli Barnett, are among six teams to have clinched Coastal Conference post-season berths with two more to be decided. Cowichan Valley (10-31-3) is in last place and currently the team on the outside in the nine-team Coastal Conference.
The Grizzlies host the second-place Surrey Eagles (28-11-3) tonight at The Q Centre. The Eagles knocked off the Bulldogs 3-1 in Port Alberni on Friday night.