After turning a sleepy arena into an electrified building with three goals late in the third period to tie the game, the Victoria Grizzlies couldn’t quite finish off the Powell River Kings on Tuesday in Colwood.
Carmine Buono’s goal 10:21 into the second overtime period ended the Grizzlies’ season, giving the visitors a 5-4 victory and a four games to two win in the B.C. Hockey League’s Island Division semifinal.
Victoria appeared worn down in the third, likely a combination of playing their sixth game in eight nights and frustration from not being able to beat Kings goaltender Brett Magnus, who stopped 55 shots on the night, including 39 in regulation time.
But Brett Gruber gave the home team and the crowd life when he picked the top left corner over Magnus with 6:31 to go. With the Kings still a bit flatfooted, blueliner Jake Emilio wired a shot past the big goalie 22 seconds later to make it a one-goal game.
Given a boost of energy by the sudden outburst, the Grizzlies tied it up with 1:41 to go, as Dane Gibson and Jay Mackie set up Kevin Massy for the tying goal with netminder Michael Stiliadis pulled for an extra attacker. It was Massy’s second goal of the game.
Both teams had their chances in the first overtime period, but the goalies were equal to the task. The Grizzlies and Kings were taking short shifts in the second OT, trying to stay fresh enough to mount an attack.
In the end, the Kings proved to have a little more energy and took advantage of a failed clearing attempt to keep the puck in the Grizzlies zone and stuff it past Stiliadis.
The teams traded power play goals in the first, Jacob Pritchard scoring for the Kings and Massy replying less than three minutes later. Powell River gained the upper hand with a pair of goals in the following 1:24, one from Pritchard, the other from Jarid Lukosevicius.
Austin Kamer made it 4-1 in the second for the Kings, who looked ready to cruise to victory before the Grizzlies came to life in the third.
Stiliadis made 36 saves in all, including a number of tough ones.
The Kings now await the winner of the Nanaimo and Port Alberni series. After losing the first three games to the Clippers, the Bulldogs have reeled off three straight wins, including a 4-3 win Tuesday in Port Alberni. Game 7 goes tomorrow night (March 11) at Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo.