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Grizzlies take lead, then hold off Capitals

Grizzlies captain Marty Westhaver is rounding back into form after an injury.

Brian Drewry / Times Colonist
NOVEMBER 26, 2019 09:52 PM

The Victoria Grizzlies haven’t played with the lead much this season. That’s what happens when you’re last in your division.

But they did just that on Tuesday night and, if they continue to play like they did in knocking off one of the best teams in the B.C. Hockey League, they’ll be doing it more often.

In one of their best efforts of the season, the Grizzlies halted a two-game slide with a 4-2 victory over the Capitals in front of 976 fans at The Q Centre.

Twenty-three points separated the Grizzlies (9-21) and the Capitals (18-10-3) going into Tuesday’s game, but you wouldn’t have known it. The Grizzlies jumped on the Caps early with first-period goals from captain Marty Westhaver and rookie Kahlil Fontana to go to the intermission up 2-0. And then veteran Henri Schreifels struck 3:36 into the second period with his team-leading 12th of the season and it looked like the Grizzlies were off to the races.

But the Capitals aren’t just one point out of first in the Island Division for a reason. Mike Vandekamp’s club fought back with two straight goals.

“We’ve had some good games like this that haven’t gone our way, but tonight the guys dug down and played a full 60 minutes and it’s a big confidence boost for them, which this team needs,” said Grizzlies head coach Craig Didmon, whose club has won back-to-back home games.

Six minutes into the final frame, Westhaver stuck the dagger in the Caps with one of his vintage high wristers after flying down the right wing. Westhaver is up to nine goals on the season.

“Marty is coming off an injury and rounding into form now, and that’s the Marty Westhaver we’re used to seeing and expect to see the rest of the season,” Didmon said.

Colwood product Tanner Sidaway and Dimitri Mikrogiannakis had the Capitals’ goals.

Rookie Blake Wood got the win in net for the Grizzlies, stopping 26 shots, while Zach Borgiel made 32 saves in the Caps’ net.

The Grizzlies and Capitals have a rematch on Friday night at The Q Centre.

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