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Victoria Grizzlies need to find their offence fast

Brian Drewry / Times Colonist
FEBRUARY 29, 2020 10:16 PM

SALMON ARM 4

VICTORIA 0

The Victoria Grizzlies are heading home down 2-0 in their best-of-seven, first-round playoff series with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, and if they don’t find their offence soon, it’ll be a long summer for the young team.

The Silverbacks threw a blanket over the Grizzlies’ attack on Saturday night at the Shaw Centre, and scored four of their own to down Victoria 4-0 in front of 1,287 happy fans.

Game 3 of the B.C. Hockey League opening-round series goes Monday night at The Q Centre, with Game 4 going Tuesday night, also at The Q Centre.

The Grizzlies managed just 27 shots on goal on Saturday and now have scored just one goal in the first two games. Leading scorer and rookie sensation Cody Monds, an NCAA commit to Providence College in 2021, has been held off the scoresheet, captain Marty Westhaver, who scored eight goals in 12 playoff games last season, has just one assist to show for the first two games, and leading goal-scorer Henri Schreifels, who’s headed to Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in the fall, also has just one assist.

The Grizzlies’ power play, which ranked seventh in the league heading into the post-season, is 0-for-9 in the two games.

At the other end of the rink, the Grizzlies are giving up too many shots, but 20-year-old netminder Liam Souliere, who’s off to the NCAA and Penn State in the fall, is having a strong playoff, making 31 saves on Saturday.

After holding the Silverbacks to two goals in Game 1, Souliere kept his team in it on Saturday until the Salmon Arm power play came alive and scored two man-advantage goals late.

After a scoreless opening period, the Silverbacks blew it open in the second, scoring three times with Luke Mylymok, Daniel Rybarik and Drew Bennett all beating Souliere. Bennett added another power-play goal in the third period.

If the Grizzlies force a fifth game, it will be played Thursday night back in Salmon Arm.

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