Grizzlies forwards Shawn O’Malley and Nathan Looysen celebrate during the team’s 3-2 overtime win in Game 5 of their best-of-seven series with the Chilliwack Chiefs. The win keeps the Grizzlies alive and brings the series back to The Q Centre tonight for Game 6. Photo by Jenna Hauck

Relentless Victoria Grizzlies pull off comeback in Game 5 victory

Looysen’s overtime winner brings the series back to Colwood tonight for Game 6

The Victoria Grizzlies picked themselves off the canvas Friday night to bring their third round B.C. Hockey League series with the Chilliwack Chiefs back to The Q Centre.

Down 3-1 in the best-of-seven playoff series and 2-0 late in game five, the Grizzlies clawed their way back into the game, rallying for a 3-2 overtime win at Prospera Centre.

Nathan Looysen scored the winner early in OT with a rocket from the right face-off circle to ensure that there would be a Game 6 tonight at The Q Centre.

“I’m sure doubt entered everybody’s mind at some time but at the same time I sort of felt like something was going to work out,” said Grizzlies head coach Craig Didmon.

“(Captain) Cody (Van Lierop) had a good chat with the boys right before they went out for the third…they weren’t uptight going into that third period.”

Chiefs star Jordan Kawaguchi opened the scoring 7:53 into game five, sniping his BCHL-leading 12th of the playoffs on a power play.

Taking a pass from Will Calverley to the right of the Victoria net, the Chiefs captain caught Grizz goalie Tony Rehm, starting in place of an injured Matthew Galajda, leaving a sliver of space between himself and the goal post. Kawaguchi threaded the needle with a lightning-quick snap shot for a 1-0 Chilliwack lead.

The Chiefs peppered Rehm’s net with 14 pucks through 20 minutes and the home team doubled the lead just 69 seconds into the middle frame on a Calverley goal. From just inside the right faceoff dot the rookie rifled the puck inside the far post for his third of the playoffs and Victoria was reeling.

The Chiefs had a chance for more when Tommy Lee was clipped in the face by a Carter Berger high stick. Berger was handed a double minor but the Chilliwack power play came up empty.

That would come back to haunt them.

From just about that moment on the script was flipped and the visitors were the much, much better team.

Victoria spent just about the entire third period in the Chiefs end and got within one with 5:40 remaining on a Dayne Finnson goal. Grizzly captain Cole Pickup saucered a backhand pass across the goal-mouth to Finnson who put a sharp-angle shot through Sinclair from the bottom of the left faceoff circle.

Chilliwack head coach Jason Tatarnic had to call timeout to try and settle his troops but they were still hanging on as play resumed.

Victoria got the equalizer with 2:52 to play. Looysen camped in the crease and deflected a Jake Stevens centering pass/shot past Sinclair, sending this one to overtime.

The three stars were Calverley (first), Arseneau (second) and Looysen (third).

Announced attendance was 2,772.

The opening face-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight and Didmon says the key for his club will be to maintain their high level of work ethic.

“We need to live to see another day. We haven’t got anything yet. We’re certainly happy to be at home and we want to make up for the two losses we had this week at home,” he said.

with files from Joel Tansey

Just Posted

Belmont senior girls volleyball team heads to provincials

Team set its sights on repeating as champions

City of Colwood considers plastic bag ban

Bylaw must be brought forward for public input before adoption

Widow of chef killed by SUV gives birth to twin boys

Khushal Rana was struck and killed by an out-of-control vehicle on Gorge Road last month

Songhees youth among those recognized by province for achievement in sport

Team BC athletes in North American Indigenous Games, Canada Summer Games recognized

Premier asks for re-do on Highway 14 study

A study on Highway 14 improvement has been delayed for a second… Continue reading

VIDEO: Innovating healthier homes

NZ Builders bring commercial concept into residential realm to improve energy efficiency and health

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Vic High students take Saanich-reared comic’s words on mental illness to heart

School counsellors see uptick in visits after Kevin Breel relays his depression story

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

This week’s wanted in Greater Victoria for Nov. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read