Ethan Nother scored seven seconds into the game and later added two assists as the Victoria Grizzlies staved off elimination by beating the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4-1 in game four of their seven-game series.
The Grizzlies jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals from Nother and defenceman Dayne Finnson. Alberni Valley’s Michael Sacco answered back with his fifth goal of the playoffs to cut the lead to one heading into the second period. Cameron Thompson and Alex Newhook scored in the second frame to increase Victoria’s lead to 4-1 and they held on through a penalty-filled third period to get their first win of the playoffs.
Kurtis Chapman got the start in goal for Victoria and he stopped 33 of 34 shots and was named the game’s second star. The Bulldogs will get another chance to eliminate the Island Division champion Grizzlies in game five on Friday in Victoria.
The Vernon Vipers eliminated the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on a Niko Karamanis overtime-winner 3:23 into the extra frame as Vernon won 1-0. Salmon Arm goalie Kyle Dumba made 49 saves and was named the game’s first star in a losing effort. His counterpart Ty Taylor stopped all 31 shots he faced to earn his first shutout of the playoffs to help the Vipers advance. Vernon outshot the Silverbacks 50-31 in the game and 9-0 in overtime.
The Wenatchee Wild completed the sweep over the Merritt Centennials as they won game four by a score of 4-1. After Merritt took a second-period lead on Chase Bell’s first of the playoffs, the Wild scored three goals in under three minutes to take the lead heading into the third period. Jasper Weatherby added a goal and an assist to his league-leading playoff point totals and Wenatchee goalie Austin Park stopped 32 of 33 shots in the win. The Wild will take on the Vernon Vipers in the second round.
The Penticton Vees advanced to the second round after a tight 2-1 win over the Coquitlam Express in game four of their series. Penticton outshot Coquitlam 59-26 in the game, but found themselves tied 1-1 heading into the third period. Vees forward Taylor Ward gave his team the lead eight minutes into the period and Penticton held on for the 2-1 win. Coquitlam goalie Clay Stevenson made 57 saves and was named the game’s first star in the loss. The Vees will take on the Trail Smoke Eaters in the second round.