Some new blood and some rejuvenated old blood have helped get the Victoria Grizzlies back on track.
Newcomer Alex DiPaulo had a goal and two assists Sunday afternoon and captain Marty Westhaver scored in his third straight game to propel the Grizzlies to a 4-3 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in front of 1,028 fans at The Q Centre.
It was the Grizzlies’ third straight victory and fourth consecutive win on home ice after seven straight losses at The Q Centre.
“DiPaulo and [Colton] Kitchen were both impact players all weekend, both doing their jobs extremely well,” said Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon, who picked up the two newcomers last week in a trade that saw veteran defenceman Nico Somerville go to the Penticton Vees.
“And our veterans like Westhaver, [Henri] Schreifels and [Reid] Lindsay played with great habits and led by example in both wins on the weekend and our younger players followed suit.”
He’s not the youngest of the rookies, but Cody Monds continues to light up the opposition. The 19-year-old, who is NCAA committed to Providence College, leads the Grizzlies in scoring after picking up another two assists on Sunday to give him a team-best 29 points in 32 games.
Jake Veilleux and rookie winger Andrew Amousse had the other Victoria goals, while rookie netminder and Nanaimo native Blake Wood won his third straight game in goal with 27 saves.
“Our young players are starting to play like veterans now,” said Didmon, whose club improved to 11-21-0 on the season. “Most of them are at 30 games [played] now and you can now see the development start to take off, which is what you want to see.”
The Grizzlies and Bulldogs (13-12-2) will go at it again this Friday night as the Grizzlies continue their five-game homestand. The will also host the Surrey Eagles on Sunday afternoon at The Q Centre.
LOOSE PUCKS: The Grizzlies released forward Stephen Konroyd on Sunday to get down to the 25-man roster limit. The 19-year-old, in his second season in Victoria, had a goal and three assists in 26 games. . . . The Grizzlies continue to have a lengthy injury list. Didmon had to call up Chase Barlow from the South Island Royals of the B.C. Major Midget League and Tanner Wort from the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s Peninsula Panthers for Sunday’s game. Out with injuries are goaltender Liam Souliere, defencemen Brady MacDonald and James Davenport, and forwards Eddie Yan, Vincent Nardone and Trevor Bishop.