Playing most of the game without two of their best defencemen, the Victoria Grizzlies’ forwards came to the rescue Friday night in a 5-3 win over the Chiefs at the Chilliwack Coliseum.
With Hoyt Stanley, the Grizzlies leading point-getter among blue-liners, absent due to illness, and veteran defenceman Justin Gibson exiting in the first minute of the second period due to a fighting major, Victoria was looking for plenty of offence and that’s exactly what they got. The Grizzlies scored three times within five minutes in the first period with Jacksenn Hungle getting things started just 5:50 into the opening frame. That was followed 27 seconds later by Olivier Picard potting his team-leading 28th of the season, and then Owen Bohn finished off a passing play with Jack Gorton on a two-on-one at the 10-minute mark to put Victoria up 3-0.
Aaron Davidson got one back for the home team at the 11:24 mark of the first. And Hunter McInnes and Davidson scored in the last 90 seconds to spoil Oliver Auyeung-Ashton solid night, but the rookie netminder picked up his 21st win of the season.
Reegan Hiscock, in the second, and Anthony Carone in the third period rounded out the scoring.
The victory allowed the Coastal Conference fourth-place Grizzlies (26-16-5-3) to keep pace with the third-place Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Victoria remains two points behind Alberni, which beat the Surrey Eagles 6-3 on Friday, but the Grizzlies have two games in hand. The Chiefs (26-20-1-3) remain in sixth place.
The Grizzlies’ three-games-in-three-days road trip continues tonight in Coquitlam against the Express, and then they move to Surrey on Sunday afternoon for a matchup with the Eagles.
LOOSE PUCKS: Bohn and Hungle both left the game in the second period with injuries and did not return.