Playoff recap – March 15

With nine days off after sweeping their opponents in the first round, the Victoria Grizzlies were well-rested heading into their second-round matchup with the Powell River Kings and they showed no signs of rust as they outshot the Kings 51-20 in a 4-1 win.

The Grizzlies came out buzzing in the first period, peppering 21 shots on Powell River goalie Mitch Adamyk in the opening frame alone. To his credit, only one got by him, an Alex Newhook power-play marker with 4:30 to go and Victoria was up 1-0 after one. Ben Thomas got the Kings on the board with a second-period tally midway through the second to tie things up, but the Grizzlies got three straight goals in the third from Newhook, Alexander Campbell and Marty Westhaver to make it a 4-1 final.

Victoria goalie Kurtis Chapman made 19 saves to remain undefeated in the postseason, while Adamyk ended up stopping 47 despite the loss. With his two-goal performance on Friday night, Newhook now has five goals and five assists in five playoff games, tying him for third in scoring. Game 2 goes tomorrow night in Victoria.

The Cowichan Valley Capitals carried their momentum from their first-round win over the Penticton Vees into Friday’s Game 1 against the Wenatchee Wild in a 3-2 win on the road. Pierce Diamond continued to shine in the Caps crease in the opening game as he stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced in the game and was named first star. Cruz Cote got Cowichan on the board early with a goal less than 30 seconds into the game, but Cristophe Tellier answered with his first of the playoffs to make it 1-1 after one. Dan McIntyre potted his third of the postseason early in the second to reestablish Cowichan’s advantage, but Wenatchee answered yet again on a Brandon Koch power-play goal with under five to go to tie the game heading into the third. It was Caps defenceman David Melaragni playing hero yet again as the team’s leading scorer in the regular season scored his second game-winner of the playoffs at the 7:15 mark and Diamond shut the door the rest of the way. The Capitals, the lowest seed in the BCHL playoffs, will look to take a two-game lead in Game 2 tomorrow night.

Braeden Tuck had a goal and an assist and Donovan Buskey only needed to make 16 saves as the Trail Smoke Eaters went into Vernon and beat the Vipers 3-1 to take Game 1 of their second-round series. After two scoreless periods, Ben Sanderson finally got the first goal of the game 2:21 into the third, giving Vernon a 1-0 lead. The Smokies replied just over a minute later when Tuck scored his third of the playoffs, then they took the lead shortly after on a Spencer McLean tally that made it 2-1. Carter Jones sealed the game with an empty-netter as the game ended 3-1. Vipers goalie Aidan Porter made 21 saves as Trail outshot Vernon 24-17. The Vipers will look to regain home-ice advantage in Game 2 tomorrow night.

Dustin Manz scored three straight goals and Dylan Anhorn added two of his own as the Prince George Spruce Kings blanked the top-seeded Chilliwack Chiefs 7-0 in Game 1 of their opening-round series. Spruce Kings captain Ben Poisson notched his fourth of the playoffs with just over three minutes to go in the first to open the scoring and Manz scored his first of the game shortly after to make it 2-0 Prince George after one. Manz was just getting started as he scored his second under a minute into period two and notched his hat-trick goal a few minutes later. Nick Bochen netted his first of the postseason, then Dylan Anhorn scored two straight late in the period as the Spruce Kings scored five in the second to go up 7-0.  After quadrupling his playoff goals and points totals, Manz was named first star of the game. Prince George goalie Logan Neaton stopped all 19 shots he faced to earn his first shutout of the playoffs. In six postseason games, Neaton has a 5-1 record, a.941 save percentage and a 1.43 goals-against average. Chilliwack will look to bounce back in Game 2 tomorrow night.