Contributed by Jesse Adamson for BCHL communications
Tonight – Victoria Grizzlies (12-9-3-0) @ Powell River Kings (13-5-2-2)
5 p.m. at Hap Parker Arena in Powell River.
These two division rivals have faced off four times so far this season with both teams getting two victories. Kings forward Jonny Evans racked up four points (one goal, three assists) and Carter Turnbull chipped in with three (one goal, two assists) as Powell River won the season opener over the Grizzlies 8-2 at home. The following night, again in Powell River, Victoria answered back with a hard-fought 2-1 win. Grizzlies forward Ethan Nother scored the winner early in double overtime and goalie Zachary Rose stopped 36 of 37 shots to get the win.
On Nov. 11 Victoria beat the Kings at home, outscoring them 7-6. Grizzlies forward T.J. Friedmann led his team with two goals and an assist, while Turnbull had a hat trick in a losing effort for Powell River. Last night, Evans had a three-point night for the Kings as they evened the season series with a 5-3 home win. Grizzlies forward Cameron Thompson had two goals in the loss.
Victoria’s Cameron Thompson comes into tonight with points in his last three games, including four goals and an assist in that span. Forwards Jamie Rome and Alex Newhook lead the team with 21 points. Ethan Nother leads Victoria in goals with ten, followed closely by Justin Michaelian with nine and Rome with eight. Goaltenders Shawn Parkinson and Zachary Rose are eighth and ninth in league save percentage with .915 and .914 respectively.
Powell River forward Carter Turnbull leads the team with 26 points in 22 games. He’s followed by Gavin Rauser (21 points) and Jonny Evans (20 points). Carmine Buono is tied for fifth in BCHL scoring among defencemen with 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 22 games. Goaltender Mitch Adamyk is second in the league with a 2.16 goals-against average, third with a .927 save percentage and tied for third with nine wins.
What’s at Stake
The teams are facing each other for the third time in a week, with each team winning one of those games. Powell River is first in the Island Division with 30 points, three ahead of Victoria and the Nanaimo Clippers. The Kings have two games in hand on the second-place teams and will look to pull further ahead with a win tonight.
Victoria, tied for second in the division with Nanaimo, will try to close the gap between themselves and first place Powell River and also try to pull ahead of the Clippers who play in Chilliwack tonight. The winner of this game will be ahead in the season series with three games remaining against each other.
Victoria Grizzlies coach Craig Didmon on last night’s game vs. Powell River:
“It was a tight game. They got two empty-netters. We got in a bit of penalty trouble and the game went the other way on us. As a whole, it was a good, hard-fought game on our part. It’s a tough place to play and unfortunately a couple of calls went the wrong way for us and kind of cost us the game.”
Didmon on facing the Kings:
“They embellish. You can’t hit them hard without them going down. You end up getting a lot of penalties against them because they play that way. It makes it very difficult to play your physical style of play where you want to finish your check.”
“We need focus on just playing our game, and being us. Not getting caught up in their tactics…Be physical, finish all our plays and play 200-foot hockey.”
Didmon on playing Powell River three times in one week:
“There starts to be some bad blood. There’s been a few suspensions over the first two games. It’s a long season, tonight’s game will probably be full of a lot of emotion. Certainly our players want to redeem themselves for not having success last night.”
Powell River Kings coach Kent Lewis on last night’s game vs. Victoria:
“I thought we were good for about a period. Our special teams were good, but we didn’t really start getting our heart rate going and playing with a pulse until about the third period. It wasn’t a complete game by any means, but we’ll learn from it, get better from it, and we got two points in that learning process.”
Lewis on the challenges of facing the Grizzlies:
“We’ve always had good games with them. It’s just being disciplined, staying away from the crap, not getting involved with stuff that doesn’t matter. A lot of that comes about when playing them. It’s just staying the course and playing our game.”
Lewis on playing Victoria three times in a week:
“You get to know their tendencies, know where their strengths and weaknesses are. The biggest thing again is discipline…(Tonight) we need to play better. We need to play a full 60 minutes and continue with the solid special teams…We’ve been doing all this with four or five guys out of the lineup the last few weeks so it’s a testament to our depth.”