Getting tangled up along the boards are Nanaimo Clippers’ Cole Maier (17)

Getting tangled up along the boards are Nanaimo Clippers’ Cole Maier (17)

Grizzlies on a roll as BCHL playoffs start tonight in Colwood

Club hottest team in the league entering the Powell River series

Talk about putting an exclamation point on the season.

As the Victoria Grizzlies prepared to open their B.C. Hockey League Island Division playoff semifinal at home Tuesday night against Powell River (after the Gazette print deadline), they could relish not only their status as the hottest team in the league with seven straight wins, but the fact the last two victories came against division winner Nanaimo in double overtime.

Kevin Massy scored the OT winner for the Grizz in both games, a 4-3 win in Nanaimo last Friday and a 5-4 decision at The Q Centre the following night.

Game 2 in the opening playoff series goes tonight (7 p.m. start) in Colwood, while games three and four are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Hap Parker Arena in Powell River. Game 5 would be played there Sunday if necessary, as would game 6 the following Tuesday. If a seventh game is necessary, it would shift back to Colwood next Wednesday.

Last Saturday in Colwood, the Grizzlies’ Thomas Gobeil scored from Mitchell Barker 12:03 into the third to make it 4-4, and Massy hammered a slapshot past Clippers goalie Jonathan Arseneau 25 seconds into the three-on-three portion of overtime for the winner.

Spencer Hunter saved his best for last, scoring twice to lead the Grizzlies, while P.J. Conlon also scored in the win. Jacob Jackson, Nicolas Carrier, Cole Maier and Brendan Shane tallied for Nanaimo on Grizzlies goalie Sean Cleary.

On Friday night, the visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one period on goals by Dane Gibson and Jay Mackie. The Clippers rebounded in the second with three goals of their own, two of which came from Sheldon Rempal.

The 3-2 Nanaimo lead held until Meirs Moore finished off a passing play from Gibson and Jake Emilio with 1:11 to go in the third. In the second OT, Shawn McBride fed Massy for the winning goal 1:14 in. Michael Stiliadis stopped 30 of 33 shots for the victory.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com