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Grizzlies halt two-game losing skid with win over Spruce Kings

Newly signed goaltender Jack Fialkoff picked up not only his first BCHL win, but also his first BCHL points.
The Victoria Grizzlies logo. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST


It was a night of firsts at The Q Centre on Friday as several Victoria Grizzlies hit milestones, and at the perfect time.

With the players’ parents in the stands to kick off parents weekend, the Grizzlies beat the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings 6-2 to halt a two-game losing skid and keep pace with the Nanaimo Clippers for home ice advantage in the first round of the B.C. Hockey League playoffs.

On a night when newly signed goaltender Jack Fialkoff picked up not only his first BCHL win, but also his first BCHL points courtesy of first- and third-period assists, Grizzlies captain Tyler Waram registered the highlight of the night, capping off an end-to-end rush to score a short-handed marker, his first goal of the season.

The Spruce Kings (13-24-3-0), sitting in the Interior Conference basement, opened the scoring four minutes in when Kilian McGregor-Bennett beat Fialkoff on a breakaway. But late in the first, Drew Hockley and Charlie Gollob scored two minutes apart to spark the home team.

After Waram struck midway through the second period, Elliot Dutil added a late-period marker to put the Grizzlies up 4-1 after 40 minutes. Ryan Watt and Chase Pirtle for Victoria, and Jared Langdon for Prince George, rounded out the scoring in the third period.

Fialkoff, 19, from New York who came over from the Philadelphia Rebels of the North American Hockey League last month, made 27 saves for the victory. Ryan Sanborn stopped 29 shots in the Spruce Kings net.

The Grizzlies (22-17-0-1) remain in fifth place in the Coastal Conference, three points back of the Clippers, who beat the Langley Rivermen on Friday. Victoria and Nanaimo will square off tonight at The Q Centre. The Spruce Kings head to Duncan today to take on the Cowichan Valley Capitals.