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Victoria Grizzlies strike early, fend off Kings

It was a night of firsts Friday night at The Q Centre. Michael Adamak, AP call-up Ollie Josephson and Eli Barnett all struck for their first goals of the B.C.
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Grizzlies forward Tim Kim cuts around Kings defenceman Dylan Finlay during BCHL action at The Q Centre on Friday. (DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST)

It was a night of firsts Friday night at The Q Centre.

Michael Adamak, AP call-up Ollie Josephson and Eli Barnett all struck for their first goals of the B.C. Hockey League season and the Victoria Grizzlies skated to a 6-4 victory over the visiting Powell River Kings in front of 1,393 fans at The Q.

The Grizzzlies, coming off an extended Interior road trip that saw them spend two extra days in Penticton thanks to washed out roads before flying back home on Wednesday, were minus four forwards thanks to injuries and suspensions. But despite missing Connor Eddy (injury), Andrew Amousse (suspension), Luc Pelletier (suspensions) and Devan DeVries (injury), Victoria came flying out of the gate Friday, scoring three times before the game was four minutes old. Adamak, Josephson — called up from the South Island Royals U-18 team — and Barnett struck early to send the Grizzlies (10-6) to their second straight victory.

After an own goal (Grizzlies forward Michael Hoekstra shot into the empty net after the Grizzlies pulled netminder Kyle Kelsey for an extra attacker on a delayed penalty call), Jackson Morehouse scored his first of two goals on the night to restore the Grizzlies’ three-goal lead at the intermission.

After Dylan Finlay scored late in the second for the Kings, Morehouse struck again five minutes into the third.

But the Kings (7-7-1) wouldn’t go quietly. Nathan Small and Anthony Lucarelli got the visitors within one before Jack Gorton buried one on a breakaway to put the game on ice for Victoria. Gorton finished with a goal and an assist, while BCHL leading scorer Matthew Wood chipped in an assist to improve his lead-leading point total to 23.

The Grizzlies host the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday night. The Wild were 3-1 losers to the Clippers in Nanaimo on Friday.