(It was a defensive battle all night long between these two teams.)
Leo Fitzgerald scored in double-overtime, as the Victoria Grizzlies downed the Penticton Vees 3-2 Saturday at the SOEC. With the win, the Grizzlies sweep the two-game season series, winning both games over Penticton in overtime.
Leo’s brother Myles scored the double-overtime winner back on October 12th in Victoria, as the Grizzlies upended the Vees by an identical 3-2 score. The loss snaps the Vees three game win streak but the single point pads there lead atop of the Interior Division; now eight points clear of West Kelowna and Merritt at press time.
Former Grizzly Wade Murphy opened the scoring just 21 seconds into the first period. Murphy took a pass from behind the net from Sam Mellor and rifled a shot over the glove of Michael Stiliadis. Mitch Meek tied the game near the midway mark of the first for the Grizzlies. Meek’s point-shot found its way through traffic in front and squirted through the arm of Chad Katuanr at 8:22; Meek’s first career BCHL goal.
In a tight-checking second, it was Jordan McCallum crashing the net and scoring the only goal of the middle stanza. McCallum forced a turnover at the Victoria blue-line and rushed in on a partial breakaway, slipping the puck through the outstretched arm of Stiliadis at 6:39. There were only fifteen shots combined in the second, the Vees edging the Grizzlies 8-7.
Early in the third period the Grizzlies tied the game on a peculiar play at the side of the Vees goal. Chad Katunar misplayed the puck, and the Grizzlies pounced on a goal-mouth scramble, as Brett Hartskamp stuffed-in the loose puck just 36 seconds in. Katunar stopped the first two attempts at the side of the net but the puck found its way to Hartskamp out front who tied the game at two’s.
The two teams needed double-overtime to decide a winner, and it was the Grizzlies yet again coming out on top in the three-on-three period. Myles Fitzgerald, who scored in overtime against the Vees earlier this month, was stopped on a wrap-around but his brother Leo potted the rebound to give the Grizzlies the extra point and their second win over the Vees at 2:02 of the fifth period.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 GRIZZLIES
Shots: 32-30 Grizzlies
Power-plays: Vees 0/2 Grizzlies 0/2
Vees Notes: Dating back to last season, this was just the second loss for the Vees in their last 36 home games; both losses coming in overtime. Wade Murphy’s first period goal extends his BCHL-best point-streak to 15 games. Chad Katunar is now winless in three games against Island Division opponents.
Brad McClure was hurt in the third period and did not return. As a result the Vees were down to 10 forwards for the rest of the period and two overtimes. Louie Nanne and Cam Amantea did not dress for the Vees due to injury.
Chad Katunar, Troy Stecher, James De Haas, Dexter Dancs, Mike Rebry and Wade Murphy leave Sunday for Team Canada West selection camp in Calgary. The six Vees are battling for spots on Canada West’s roster for the 2012 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge.