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BCHL

LEAGUE-LEADING GRIZZLIES EYE HELP UP FRONT

The Victoria Grizzlies will head to Alberni Valley on Friday night, but it could be a slightly revamped lineup as the B.C. Hockey League trade deadline nears and the team looks for a tweak or two.

The Grizzlies have until 6 p.m. on Thursday for outside-province deals and 8 p.m. in the BCHL to make moves and sources suggest general manager and head coach Bill Bestwick is looking for a top-six forward to add more scoring punch to his lineup.

“We’ll listen, we have three cards left so we could be one of the active teams given the amount of cards we have left,” Bestwick said after Sunday’s 4-2 win at home over Powell River. “We do like our dressing room a lot, though, we like our chemistry.

“We like how the kids compete for each other. If we make any changes, it’ll only be if we know it’s a definite upgrade.”

And sources are saying the veteran BCHL executive isn’t willing to part with too much as he also looks ahead to next season, unwilling to sell the future.

“If we were to do anything, it’ll probably be a forward, maybe for a little more depth in goal-scoring, if at all possible,” said Bestwick. “Who doesn’t need that? There are 16 teams in our league and I’m sure every team would like to have someone else who could score goals.”

Plenty of names are being tossed about in BCHL rumour circles, including that of Adam Tambellini of Vernon and Brent Baltus of Trail, who were 10th and 14th respectively in league scoring on the weekend.

Bestwick appears to have an excess of defencemen on board, but if he does a deal, it will likely be forward for forward. Chase Kaiser, who was back in the lineup on Sunday, could be available.

The Grizzlies made it a perfect two-for-two weekend, defeating the Powell River Kings 4-2 on Sunday.

Newest recruit Kade Pilton had a short-handed goal and an assist to pace the hosts, who improved to 24-9-0-3 and moved back into a tie for first overall in the league with the Penticton Vees, who have played one more game than the Island Division leaders. The Grizzlies are also ranked No. 9 in the country by the CJHL.

Leo Fitzgerald, Garrett Skrbich and Myles Fitzgerald (empty-netter) also scored for Victoria, while Teagan Waugh and J.P. Villeneuve replied for Powell River.

Pilton also picked up an assist and now has a goal and two helpers in two games since joining the Grizzlies from the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. He had started the year with the Victoria Royals, but was traded east.

“They’ve been extremely welcoming to me here. It’s been a great first two games, we’ve won both, everyone is happy right now and we just want this to keep on rolling,” added Pilton.