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Victoria Grizzlies snap skid with overtime gem

Brian Drewry / Times Colonist
JANUARY 2, 2019 09:54 PM

VICTORIA 4
ALBERNI 3 (OT)

The Victoria Grizzlies ended 2018 on a sour note, but 2019 got off to a pretty sweet start.

The Grizzlies threw everything and the kitchen sink at Alberni Valley Bulldogs netminder John Hawthorne on Wednesday night — and it paid off. Led by veterans Carter Berger and Alex Newhook, the Grizzlies snapped a three-game winless skid with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Bulldogs at The Q Centre.

After a disappointing 4-2 loss to the Nanaimo Clippers on Saturday in which they mustered just three shots on goal in the first period, the Grizzlies came flying out of the gate on Wednesday, pounding Hawthorne with 23 first-period shots en route to outshooting the Bulldogs 53-22 on the night.

The overtime didn’t last long as blue-liner Berger, who is headed to UConn of the NCAA in the fall, went coast to coast and slid a shot under Hawthorne just 20 seconds into the fourth frame.

The 20-year-old Hawthorne did his best to keep the Island Division-leading Grizzlies at bay.

He helped manage to get his team a point when Ryan Miotto pounced on a rebound and slid the puck under Grizzlies netminder Kurtis Chapman to tie the game with just 19 seconds left in regulation.

It was the second goal of the game for the Canisius College-bound Miotto.

Newhook powered an impressive Grizzlies power play as the Boston College-bound Victoria captain picked up three assists with the man advantage to bring his B.C. Hockey League-best point total to 58.

Berger, Jeremie Bucheler and 2018 New York Rangers draft pick Riley Hughes all had power-play goals for the Grizzlies, who improve to 23-12-0-2 on the season.

Ryan Moon had the other goal for the Bulldogs, as they dropped to 13-23-2-0.

The Grizzlies wrap up their four-game homestand this weekend with a Friday night tilt against the Langley Rivermen at The Q Centre, and a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Prince George Spruce Kings.

LOOSE PUCKS: After this weekend, the Grizzlies hit the road for six straight games, starting next Friday night in Langley against the Rivermen.

bdrewry@timescolonist.com

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