Desperate to shift the momentum in their best-of-seven B.C. Hockey League series against Powell River, the Victoria Grizzlies got a very timely goal from Chris Harpur Wednesday night at The Q Centre.
The six-foot-three blueliner sent a perfect shot from the slot over the shoulder of Kings goalie Brett Magnus for the winner, 2:19 into the first overtime. Teammate Cole Pickup fed a pinpoint pass in the slot to Harpur, who had jumped up on the attack as the teams played four-on-four.
As the Grizzlies players flooded onto the ice in celebration, the realization that they weren’t going up to Powell River down 2-0 in the series had started to sink in.
The Kings are notoriously tough to play at home, as the Grizzlies can attest, having lost three straight games there to the Kings back in January.
With the series tied 1-1, a fifth game in the series is guaranteed now, but the format sees the Kings hosting the next three contests. Game 6 and 7, if necessary, would come back to Colwood March 10 and 11.
Wednesday’s hard-hitting game saw the teams end the first period tied at one, with the Kings’ Jonny Evans opening scoring 4:28 in and Victoria’s Ayden McDonald returning the favour at 16:24, driving home a Kevin Massy pass.
Both goaltenders were kept busy on the night. The Grizzlies fired 33 shots at Magnus, while Victoria’s Michael Stliadis turned aside 24 of 25 Powell River shots.
The game was in sharp contrast to the night before, when Powell River scored four second-period goals en route to a 7-2 drubbing of the Grizzlies.