Mario Annicchiarico / Times Colonist
Photograph By DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST
JANUARY 2, 2018 10:34 PM
Alex Newhook was the last of the Victoria Grizzlies to return from Christmas break.
A lengthy day of travel from St. John’s, N.L., had him landing in Victoria at 2 a.m. on Monday. He missed the B.C. Hockey League team’s first practice on Sunday.
But it certainly didn’t affect his legs on Tuesday, as the talented 16-year-old was flying in the team’s return, a 5-3 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals at The Q Centre in which he was named first star.
Newhook (one goal and two assists) and linemates Ethan Nother (one goal and two helpers) and Jamie Rome (one of each) combined for eight points in the victory.
The entire team had plenty of jump after a lengthy 17-day layoff, taking a commanding 3-0 lead in the first 12:14 before the Capitals started to fight back.
“It was good. We get a big win here. The first game back from holidays is always a big one for any team,” said Newhook, who might have had an extra step with his family — mom and dad Paula and Shawn, along with an aunt and uncle — in the building.
“It always adds to it when they’re here. It’s good to have them here and to get a win for them, for sure,” he said.
Nother opened the scoring at 4:37 with an assist to Rome. Ryan Nolan snapped a shot up high over J.J. Pichette just over two minutes later, with assists to Newhook and Dayne Finnson.
Newhook then laid a sweet, blind, drop pass to Rome at 12:14, on which Finnson also collected his second assist for the 3-0 advantage.
Tate Coughlin replied for the Capitals at 18:02 on a rebound off goaltender Kurtis Chapman’s pad, just after a faceoff in the Grizzlies’ zone.
Newhook and Matt Doran rounded out the Victoria scoring, while Ty Pochipinski and Nick Wilson replied for Cowichan.
The win extends the Grizzlies’ undefeated streak to six games, which includes a 3-3 tie against Prince George on Dec. 16. Newhook now has 19 points in his last seven games and 41 overall. Rome has 11 in his last eight outings and Nother has 13 points in his last seven.
Chapman was undefeated in those six games.
Goalie Zack Rose sat this one out, but likely draws in tonight in the second of a home-and-home, two-game set that continues in Duncan. Chapman made 30 saves while Pichette faced a whopping 50 shots for Cowichan.
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