With one eye on the out-of-town scoreboard, the Victoria Grizzlies came up short in a rather meaningless game against the Powell River Kings on Friday night at Hap Parker Arena.
The Kings snapped a three-game losing streak, using two power-play goals to dump the Grizzlies in a game that meant very little in the standings as both teams are locked into their current positions with one regular-season game remaining — the Kings (28-23-6) in third place in the Island Division and the Grizzlies (24-32-1) in the No. 1 wild-card spot, meaning they start the playoffs on the road against the third-place team from the Interior Division.
Devin Leduc and Jack Long scored on power plays in the first period for the Kings, while Andrew Amousse tallied on the man-advantage for the Grizzlies in the opening 20 minutes.
The Kings struck twice in five minutes midway through the second to take control, with Michael Abgrall scoring his 12th of the season and Leduc picking up his second of night and 20th of the season for Powell River.
A late second-period power-play marker from Vincent Nardone gave the Grizzlies some life, but Levi Glasman ended the visitor’s hopes, beating Blake Wood in the Grizzlies’ net midway through the third period.
Wood finished with 49 saves, while fellow Nanaimo product Derek Krall made 19 stops in the Kings’ net.
The Grizzlies and Kings will wrap up the regular season tonight with a rematch at 5 p.m. at Hap Parker Arena.
The Grizzlies’ first-round playoff opponent wasn’t any clearer after Friday’s action as the third-place Wenatchee Wild (64 points), Vernon Vipers (63) and Salmon Arm Silverbacks (63) all lost. The Wild finish the regular season tonight in Penticton against the Interior Division-leading Vees, while the Vipers visit West Kelowna. The Silverbacks are idle tonight and finish the regular season on Sunday when they host the last-place Merritt Centennials.
LOOSE PUCKS: The Grizzlies rested captain Marty Westhaver on Friday . . . Westhaver and Cody Monds were named nominees for annual BCHL awards on Friday. Westhaver was the Island Division nominee for the Bob Fenton Memorial Trophy for most sportsmanlike player. Westhaver is up against Kent Johnson of the Trail Smoke Eaters and Nick Poisson of the Prince George Spruce Kings. Monds is the Island Division nominee for the Bruce Allison Memorial Trophy for rookie of the year. Logan Terness of the Trail Smoke Eaters and Nikita Nesterenko of the Chilliwack Chiefs are the other nominees. Voting was conducted by BCHL coaches with the winners being announced next week.