An old-time goaltender for the Boston Bruins was nicknamed Mister Zero.
While he’s far removed from the 1940s era that Frankie Brimsek played in, Mathew Galajda wears similar colours as a member of the Victoria Grizzlies and is crafting his own reputation as a modern Mister Zero, having posted a pair of B.C. Hockey League shutouts this weekend at The Q Centre.
The 19-year-old, second year Grizzlies netminder was unbeatable, turning aside all 22 Vernon Vipers shots he faced on Saturday night in a 3-0 victory, 24 hours after kicking out 20 Alberni Valley shots in a 4-0 win.
Galajda’s current shutout string totals 142 minutes and 38 seconds, dating back to the second period of a 4-3 Grizzlies loss in Trail back on Oct. 30. The two goose eggs lowered his season goals against average to 2.14 and boosted his save percentage up to .922.
With Galajda and the Vipers’ Cole Demers putting on a clinic in their respective nets through two periods – Demers actually faced the tougher chances – the Grizzlies broke things open in the third when Lucas Clark bagged his fifth of the season, from Jake Stevens and Jamie Rome at the 5:29 mark.
Tyler Welsh pulled into a tie for the team lead in goals with 11 when he scored his second shorthanded marker of the season, unassisted, midway through the frame. At the time Cole Pickup was sitting off a five-minute major penalty for a blow to the head – he also received five for fighting Vernon’s Steven Jandric.
The Grizzlies showed their mettle again on the same penalty kill, when Justin Michaelian scored his fourth of the season, from Cody Van Lierop and Rome less than three minutes later.
Victoria outshot Vernon 30-22 on the night.
On Friday against the Bulldogs, Pickup’s 11th goal of the year 18:33 into the first period stood as the winner. He added a pair of assists on the night, including setting up an empty netter from Welsh.
Timothy Friedmann, with his second of the season, and Michaelian, who scored into an empty net with a minute to go, also scored for the Grizzlies, who outshot Alberni 31-20.
The wins left the Grizzlies (13-3-2-3) in a tie for first in the Island Division with Powell River (15-7-1-0), who beat Merritt 3-2 on Friday and lost 7-6 to Chilliwack in double overtime Sunday.
The Grizzlies, who enjoy two games in hand on Powell River, venture into the Kings’ den for a pair of key road games this Friday and Saturday, before returning home to face the Bulldogs again on Nov. 18.