Nineteen games is a lot of hockey in some ways. But the Victoria Grizzlies are doing their best to get a head start on the home stretch of the B.C. Hockey League regular season.
The Grizz, who open a three-game road trip in Prince George on Friday night (Jan. 15), are playing hungry and posted their third straight win since returning from the holiday break, 7-1 over the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Tuesday in Duncan.
P.J. Conlon scored a natural hat trick with three consecutive goals, while linemate Cole Pickup scored once and set up three others to lead the Grizzlies’ attack on the night.
After a scoreless first, Victoria carried a 2-0 lead into the second intermission, then poured on the steam in the third, extending their lead to 5-0 before the Capitals’ Kade Kehoe scored an unassisted power play goal at the 11:19 mark.
Joseph Visconti, Brayden Gelsinger and Nick Guiney also scored in the win.
Grizzlies goaltender Matthew Galajda continued to hold a hot hand, turning aside 32 of 33 shots. He’s allowed just four goals in the past three games to lower his goals-against average to 2.28, third best in the BCHL behind the Penticton Vees’ league-leading tandem of Anthony Brodeur (1.83) and Zachary Driscoll (1.94).
As they climb back toward the .500 mark, the fourth-place Grizzlies (17-20-4-0, 38 points) have Island Division rivals Cowichan Valley (47 pts.) and Powell River (46 pts.) in their sights.
Of note is the fact Tuesday’s win was the Grizzlies’ fourth straight over the Caps after losing their first three head-to-head games this season. Victoria has also beat the Kings two straight and five of out six times this year.