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‘Never-say-die’ Grizzlies take series to seventh game

Cleve Dheensaw / Times Colonist
Photograph By DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST
MARCH 10, 2018 10:49 PM

VICTORIA  4
ALBERNI VALLEY 2

The Victoria Grizzlies have pushed back hard against the wall that their backs were pinned against in the B.C. Hockey League playoffs.

The B.C. Division regular-season champion Grizzlies, who were trailing 3-0 in their best-of-seven divisional opening-round series against the upstart fourth-seed Alberni Valley Bulldogs, have forced a deciding seventh game Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Q Centre in Colwood. Victoria defeated the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4-2 on Saturday night in Game 6 before 1,312 fans at Weyerhaeuser Arena in Port Alberni to force the series to the limit.

“It’s been work ethic, and just sheer will, and a never-say-die attitude,” said Grizzlies general manager and head coach Craig Didmon. “But this was a subdued group after the game because they know the job is not done yet and our backs are still to the wall.”

The Grizzlies got off the start they needed Saturday on first-period goals by Lach Hadley and Drayson Pears.

Victoria made it 3-0 on a goal in the second period by Ryan Nolan.

Drawing an assist was on the goal was Alex Newhook, ranked No. 2 by The Hockey News for the 2019 National Hockey League draft only behind the projected American prodigy Jack Hughes.

But then the Bulldogs were not done and brought their home building to a raucous roar with goals by Stephen Castagna in the second period and Jackson Doucet, on an assist by Castagna, at 4:22 of third period to pull Alberni Valley to within one.

The Grizzlies’ anxiety was not eased until Cameron Thompson scored unassisted into an empty Alberni Valley net at 18:40 of the final period.

Both goaltenders were good when needed. Kurtis Chapman made 31 saves for Victoria and John Hawthorne 35 for Alberni Valley. “The goalies stepped it up tonight,” Didmon said.

FAMILY 4 PACK TICKET PROMO FOR PLAYOFFS

The Grizzlies are pleased to announce the return of the Family 4 Pack Ticket Package for the playoffs.

For only $48 you will get:

  • 4 Hot Dogs
  • 4 Pops
  • 2 Bags of Popcorn
  • 2 Adult and 2 Child Tickets

GET YOUR TICKETS

Please call the Box Office at (250) 385-1555 to purchase the Family 4 Pack or buy single game tickets online: https://tickets.victoriagrizzlies.com