It’s Help Fill a Dream Night at The Q Centre tonight when the Victoria Grizzlies host the Nanaimo Clippers.
The charitable foundation’s slogan is “We make impossible, possible.”
The Grizzlies are hoping to make the impossible — beating the Island Division-leading Clippers (22-9-3) in back-to-back games while missing several regulars from your lineup — possible in what is also the club’s annual Teddy Bear Toss game. The stuffed animals thrown on the ice after the Grizzlies’ first goal, as well as proceeds from the 50-50, chuck-a-puck and money raised from auctioning off the third jerseys the Grizzlies will be wearing, will go to the Help Fill a Dream Foundation. It supports families from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands whose lives have suddenly changed due to their child’s diagnosis with a medical condition or severe health challenge.
“This is always the biggest night of the year for us when everything we do goes toward helping a very worth cause,” said Grizzlies president Lance Black.
“And it just happens to also be a huge game for our team against one of our closest rivals who are having a great season. We beat them [last Wednesday] and, hopefully we can do it again.”
The Grizzlies (12-23-0) beat the Clippers 3-1 on Wednesday at Frank Crane Arena, thanks in large part to the goaltending of rookie 18-year-old Blake Wood, and they will again need to be stingy if they want to make it two in a row against the Clippers, who they also play twice next week before the Christmas break.
The good news for the Grizzlies is they’re slowly starting to get healthy. James Davenport, who’s committed to play NCAA hockey for Brown University, and fellow blue-liner Reid Lindsay are expected back in the Grizzlies’ lineup tonight, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the banged-up Victoria squad.
Remaining out with injuries are goaltender Liam Souliere, defenceman Brady MacDonald and forwards Eddie Yan and Trevor Bishop. Rookie forward Connor Eddie will also miss tonight’s game as he sits out the second of his two-game suspension.
“We’re getting some good news on the injury front and that will help the guys’ confidence as we get ready for a tough weekend, said Grizzlies GM and coach Craig Didmon.
While the Clippers don’t have any major injuries, they will again be without Kyler Kovich and Ethan Scardina as the two forwards are playing for Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.
The Grizzlies will also be in action Sunday afternoon as they welcome the Chilliwack Chiefs to The Q Centre for a 2 p.m. game.
LOOSE PUCKS: Grizzlies rookie forward Cody Monds, a Providence College-commit for the fall of 2021, is on a nine-game point streak and leads all BCHL rookies in scoring with 34 points in 35 games.