Sunday, February 16, 2014

Grizzlies 5 Eagles 2

Three third-period goals helped the Victoria Grizzlies spoil Surrey's regular-season home finale, as the Eagles were handed a 5-2 setback Sunday at South Surrey Arena.

Cole Pickup's breakaway goal 7:17 into the third proved to be the eventual game-winner, as Victoria moved past Langley into first place overall in the BCHL.

The Grizzlies started early and through an odd opening goal, when at the 2:21 mark of the first period Jacob Kearley sent a dump-in toward goal that dipped beneath the glove hand of Surrey goaltender Devon Fordyce. The goal stood as the only tally as the teams split twenty-two total shots in the opening frame.

Surrey bounced back early in the second, though. Darius Davidson rifled home his fourth goal of the season after a nifty set-up from Danton Heinen 2:26 into the middle frame, catching the top corner of Alec Dillon's net from the slot.

The Grizzlies' leading scorer gave the visitors the lead six minutes later. At the conclusion of a Victoria penalty, Gerry Fitzgerald snuck off the bench and down the left wing, accepting a cross-ice feed from Dante Hahn, and then outwaiting Fordyce to score his 26 goal and 76th point of the campaign.

Pickup split the Surrey defence and fired home the 3-1 goal early in the third before former Eagle Garrett Forster added some flash to the Grizzlies offence, ducking his way out of the right wing corner and roofing a shot over Fordyce's left shoulder with 6:45 to play.

The Eagles found a brief spell of momentum later in the third period thanks to twins Jonah and Nathan Renouf. The former found the latter wide open in front of the net with 3:30 remaining to cut the Grizzlies lead to 4-2, but the Eagles comeback hopes were thwarted in the final minute of period three when Jay Mackie put home an empty-netter.

Surrey, who were without forwards Braedan Russell and Anthony Conti, were unable to capitalize on six power-play opportunities Sunday With the loss find themselves resigned to the fourth seed in the Mainland division standings.

My Three Stars:
1. Alec Dillon, Victoria
2. Dante Hahn, Victoria
3. Travis Stephens, Victoria

Up Next: Surrey winds down the 2013-14 regular season with a three-game road swing beginning Friday night in Powell River. The Eagles will make stops in Nanaimo and Victoria Saturday and Sunday.

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