Struggling Victoria Grizzlies edged by Nanaimo Clippers

The effort was there. The shots were there. But the goals are still missing.

And so are the wins.

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For the eighth straight time on home ice, the Victoria Grizzlies were defeated, this time by the Nanaimo Clippers, who scored midway through the third period to steal a 1-0 victory and remain atop the B.C. Hockey League’s Island Division.

The Grizzlies outshot the Clippers 48-38, but for the second straight game were shutout by Nanaimo netminder Zachary Bennett.

Blake Wood in the Grizzlies’ net only allowed a Sean Donaldson breakaway goal 10:30 into the third period, but that was enough to give the Clippers the win and keep Nanaimo atop the Island Division at 17-6-1-1.

The Grizzlies’ offence, even with the addition of newcomer Vincent Nardone who was picked up from the Penticton Vees this week, is still in disarray. Victoria has now scored just nine goals in its past eight games and at 7-19 remains in last place in the Island Division.

Looking to halt their skid, the Grizzlies came flying out of the gate and outshot the Clippers 15-9 in the first period. But at every turn, Bennett, a Winnipeg native who spent last season with the Selkirk Steelers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, stood tall to lower his already stellar 1.91 goals-against average.

The Grizzlies are back at tonight when the Merritt Centennials, last in the BCHL at 5-14-1, pay a visit to The Q Centre.

LOOSE PUCKS: Grizzlies netminder Joe Howe accepted a scholarship offer from Ivy League school Cornell University this week. The 18-year-old rookie from Barrie, Ont., will join the Big Red in fall 2021. Cornell already has some Grizzlies flavour to its roster. Former Victoria netminder Matthew Galajda is in his third year with the Big Red.

bdrewry@timescolonist.com

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