Brian Drewry / Times Colonist
DECEMBER 14, 2019 10:17 PM
The biggest crowd of the season was at The Q Centre on Saturday night so it was fitting the biggest story of the year for the Victoria Grizzlies scored the always-popular Teddy Bear Toss goal.
Taking a smooth cross-ice pass from James Davenport, Grizzlies’ star rookie Cody Monds one-timed a shot past Nanaimo Clippers netminder Zachary Bennett at the six-minute mark of the first period to unleash the hundreds of stuffed animals onto the ice. It was Monds’ team-leading 35th point of the season, which is tops among B.C. Hockey League rookies, and extended the 18-year-old’s point streak to 10 games.
After the bears were cleaned up — and a 17-minute delay to replace a shattered pane of glass — the Grizzlies went toe-to-toe with the Island Division-leading Clippers and got some nice work from two more of their highly touted rookies to get the lead that Victoria took into the late stages of the game that was still in progress at press time.
After Josh Kagan beat Blake Wood to draw the Clippers even, a pair of Grizzlies rookies already with NCAA scholarships in their back pockets, teamed up to bring the 1,273 in attendance to their feet. Just one minute into the second, Chase McInnis, committed to Northeastern University, took a nifty pass from Brendan Bowie, who will head to St. Lawrence University in 2021, and buried the one-timer to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead.
Then with three minutes left in the middle frame, Monds, buried his second of the night and 15th goal of the season on a Grizzlies’ power play to put the home team in control. It’s a lead they held midway through the third period.
The Grizzlies led 5-1 early in the third after McInnis and Colton Kitchen scored 30 seconds apart.
The Clippers came into the game at 22-9-3 and got a boost from the return of forwards Kyler Kovich and Ethan Scardina.
The Grizzlies welcome the Chilliwack Chiefs to town today for a 2 p.m. game.
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