The Victoria Grizzlies went up the river without a paddle for the second time this season, capsized by the Langley Rivermen on Friday night.
Three goals in the first 4:49 of the opening period sunk the visiting Grizzlies, losing 6-3 at the Langley Events Centre.
The Rivermen also defeated Victoria 5-1 back on Dec. 2 at Bear Mountain Arena.
On Friday, Langley scored on its first three shots of the game, chasing starting Grizzlies’ goaltender Mike Stiliadis, who made way for backup Brady Rouleau.
Evan Campbell opened the scoring on the power play at 1:35 as Grizzlies forward Keyler Bruce took a kneeing penalty just 33 seconds in. Mitch McLain made it 2-0 at 3:22 and 1:27 later Austin Azurdia banished Stiliadis to the bench.
“When they played us in Victoria they played extremely well. They’ve got a lot of talent up front and, if you allow them, they can hurt you,” Grizzlies general manager and head coach Bill Bestwick said prior to the trip to the mainland.
The defeat means the Grizzlies finally fall into double digits in the regulation-time losses column, slipping to 31-10-0-6 on the season.
The loss also snapped a 13-game streak of at least one point earned that dated back to Dec. 29.
Azurdia made it 4-0 on a short-handed goal early in the second period before Victoria finally got on the scoreboard with Turner Lawson’s goal at 5:24 of the middle frame.
Derek Sutliffe and James Robinson also scored for Langley, which had a 6-1 lead and improved to 19-19-1-5.
Leo Fitzgerald and Myles Fitzgerald added early third-period markers 2:32 apart for the Grizzlies, who are in Salmon Arm tonight at 7 and end the weekend trip in Vernon on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Myles Fitzgerald had earned an assist on Leo’s power-play marker to extend his impressive point-scoring streak to 21 games.
Despite the loss, Victoria does remain in first place overall n the B.C. Hockey League, three points up on Penticton as the Vees also lost 1-0 to Merritt.
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