Scoring three power play goals in a game for the first time this season was a good way for the Victoria Grizzlies to start their week.
The B.C. Hockey League team did so Tuesday against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in a 4-2 victory that wasn’t as close as the score appeared.
The Grizzlies (13-17-0-4), winners of two straight, look to take that momentum into this weekend’s home games, tomorrow night (Dec. 12, 7 p.m.) against the expansion Wenatchee Wild and Sunday afternoon (2 p.m. start) versus the West Kelowna Warriors.
The Wild (18-9-2-2 entering this week), visiting Colwood for the only time this season, led the Mainland Division for much of the early part of the season until being caught relatively recently by the Chilliwack Chiefs.
The Warriors (17-12-0-2), meanwhile, are in the hunt for second behind the virtually unstoppable Penticton Vees in the Interior Division.
On Tuesday, the Grizzlies dominated the first two periods and took a 4-0 lead 1:11 into the third period. Brayden Gelsinger stickhandled his way through a pack in front of the Alberni net, wheeled and scored over Bulldogs goalie Carson Schamerhorn for his second power play goal of the game.
The visitors got one back 12 minutes in when Tristan Bukovec flew down the left wing and beat Matthew Galajda with a wrist shot up high. Then with more than two minutes to go, the Bulldogs pulled Schamerhorn to try getting closer.
The strategy worked, as Nathan Dingmann scored during a goalmouth scramble at 18:20. Alberni kept the pressure up but the Grizzlies managed to limit the Bulldogs’ chances the rest of the way.
After nearly 35 minutes of scoreless hockey, Gelsinger got the Grizzlies on the board in the second period with the Bulldogs’ Quinn Syrydiuk off for tripping. Just over a minute later, with another Bulldog in the box, P.J. Conlon made it 2-0 from Dante Hahn and Kevin Massy.
Continuing to control the flow of the play, Victoria got the 3-0 goal from Tyler Welsh at 17:25 from linemates Conlon and Cole Pickup. Conlon was in all all four of his team’s goals and was named the game’s second star behind Gelsinger.
The Grizzlies outshot the Bulldogs 26-24 overall, but 15 of Alberni’s shots came in the final frame.
Bear claws … Saturday’s game against Wenatchee features the annual teddy bear toss for Santas Anonymous. Bring down a new bear to toss onto the ice between periods … Announced this week was an international exhibition game Jan. 27 between the Grizzlies and U-18 Red Bull Salzburg academy team from Austria. It’s one of four games the touring club will play against BCHL teams. Tickets are on sale now for the Wednesday night game at he Q Centre.