Above Photo: Grizzlies defenseman Deven Nagra (#3 Gold) comes nose to nose with Trail Forward Ridge Dawson (#10 Black) (Photo credit: Jen Small Photography)
Trail, BC ~ The Victoria Grizzlies rolled into Trail and put out any fire that the Smokies tried to muster in a 3-0 shutout victory from the Cominco Arena.
Victoria, who was 4-1 in their last five before Friday night, got things started halfway through the first period when Ranvir Gill-Shane found the back of the net on a sharp angle shot from the far board hash marks. Smokies goaltender, Teagan Kendrick, tried to knock the puck down with his glove and instead directed it into his own net to help get the Grizzlies off and running at the 9:25 mark.
Victoria would then kill off four Trail power plays from the end of the first to midway through the second, including a key 1:03 long 5 on 3 Smoke Eater man advantage.
Riding high after killing those penalties, Victoria would add to their lead with just 1:04 left on the clock in the second frame as Elliot Dutil put a puck home for his 6th of the year after some chaos in the Trail end that all started with a strong cut to the net from Malcolm Green. Green would get an assist on the play, as well as Nathan King.
The Grizzlies put a cherry on top of the sundae when Jacksenn Hungle scored with just over two and a half minutes gone in the 3rd and final frame. Hungle, who had been out of the lineup since October 27th with an injury, was able to poke home a rebound for his 2nd tally of the campaign off a shot through traffic from Grizzly captain Ty Waram. Oli Genest was awarded the primary assist as the puck ricocheted off him in front.
The first star of the game however was Grizzly rookie goaltender Owen Bresson who was lights out in the crease making 34 saves for the 3rd shutout of his year and young BCHL career. Owen’s numbers improved to a simply silly 1.93 GAA and .935 SV% to go along with a 8-5-0 record.
Victoria heads to Merritt on Saturday night looking to make it six wins in their last seven attempts and a perfect two for two in their Southeast Interior Trip. Merritt holds a respectable 12-19-4 record this year while Victoria improved to 20-12-2 after last night’s victory.
~ Tom Wilke