Chiefs players celebrate around goaltender Mark Sinclair after their series-clinching 4-2 win at The Q Centre on Saturday night. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

Victoria Grizzlies season comes to an end with 4-2 loss

The Chilliwack Chiefs are moving on to the B.C. Hockey League finals following a heart-wrenching Game 6 in Colwood

The Victoria Grizzlies threw all they could at the Chilliwack Chiefs but unlike the previous night they couldn’t complete the comeback, falling by a 4-2 score in a Game 6 that put an end to their B.C. Hockey League season.

Facing elimination for the fourth time these playoffs, the Grizzlies entered the third period trailing 2-1 and surrendered a third goal 1:38 into the frame when Chiefs forward Jake Smith beat goaltender Tony Rehm for his second goal of the game.

As was the case in previous elimination contests, the Grizzlies played their best hockey with their backs against the wall, firing 13 shots on Chiefs goaltender Mark Sinclair in the final period.

Only one would slip past, a shot off a rebound from Victoria native Cole Pickup in the final minute, and the Chiefs added an empty net goal to complete the scoring.

“We just came up a little short. It’s a good hockey club over there…A couple breakdowns cost us,” said Grizzlies head coach Craig Didmon.

Chiefs head coach Jason Tatarnic pointed to his team’s depth as the reason they were able to take the series.

“We outshot them for the most part in all the games and outscored them. Anytime you can put a lot of rubber on the net and score that many goals…that’s going to present some problems,” he said. “But at times when we were up they found ways to find some goals themselves. Any time the game was within striking distance, they fought pretty hard.”

Rehm was busy until the third, making 27 saves against 30 Chiefs shots.

Earlier, Grizzlies forward Marty Westhaver scored his first of the playoffs 2:24 into the opening period, but the excitement from the 1,418 fans at The Q Centre was quickly snuffed out when the Chiefs and forward Tommy Lee responded 26 seconds later.

Smith put the Chiefs up midway through the second frame before extending the lead in the third.

It was an emotional farewell for many Grizzlies players who saw their junior careers come to a close sooner than they would have liked.

“I’ve grown up playing here. It’s tough. I remember the first time I learned how to skate just up the hill there (at Juan de Fuca Arena)…it’s a tough night for sure,” Pickup said.

“It’s tough to finish the career here. There’s nothing but good things I can say about this place. It’s been my home for the past three years. It’s tough to say goodbye,” said Grizzlies captain Cody Van Lierop.

The Chiefs will move on to face the winner of the series between the Penticton Vees and the Vernon Vipers.

Those clubs are headed for a Game 7 after the Vipers cruised to a 5-1 win Saturday night.

e-mail: joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette

Just Posted

Transport Canada announces funds for pollutant clean up in Victoria Park, removal of abandoned boats

Contaminants at Laurel Point Park will be removed starting at the end of September

Volunteers gather in Metchosin for B.C.’s 1st ever search and rescue joint training

Around 200 volunteers came out for the three-day training program

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

First day of fall: what you can look forward to in Greater Victoria this season

Food, festivals, pumpkins and more are coming your way

Moon Lantern festival to light up Gordon Head

Saturday night festival celebrates harvest moon, fall season

United Way asks Victoria to share local love

2018 campaign aims to raise another $5M

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Most Read