It was a tough start to a three-game road trip for the Victoria Grizzlies, in particular the coaching staff.
With head man and general manager Bill Bestwick sitting out a one-game suspension, associate coach Craig Didmon handled the duties in Surrey against the Eagles, until he was forced from the game to an injury, of all things.
Didmon left the game early in the third period, throwing out his left shoulder after dodging a rocketing puck, but falling from the bench.
With Didmon out and just goalie coach James Gaertner remaining, the Eagles received a goal from Demico Hannoun to hand the Grizzlies their first regulation loss of the season, in a 3-2 final. Hannoun scored less than six minutes after Myles Fitzgerald had tied it at 2-2 just 40 seconds into the final stanza.
Didmon did return with his arm in a sling.
A number of fines and suspensions were levied for an incident at the end of last Saturdays victory in Duncan against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
Bestwick sat out Friday for three or more fights during the same stoppage, while defenceman Justin Coachman was handed an eight-game suspension and Myles Powell was disciplined for two.
Victoria outshot the Eagles 12-4 in the opening period, but trailed 1-0 when Drew Best beat goaltender Mike Stiliadis in the final minute. Michael Stenerson made it 2-0 at 6:53 of the second before Gerry Fitzgerald replied for Victoria at 13:04 of the middle frame and then assisted on brother Myless tying goal early in the third.
The Grizzlies are in Chilliwack tonight.
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