Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Sun sets on the Grizz Roar Blog

Well after 16 months, 425 posts, over 88,000 hits and many,many hours put in, I have had to call time on the blog. Due to family, work and school commitments I don't have the time to put into it any longer and can't do justice to the team/ fans even as an unofficial blog.

Last season, the blog was one of the most updated (not well typed at times, sorry) and for the most part informative in the BCHL. During a difficult season for the team in the 2011/12 season on and off the ice, the Grizzlies social media team set about and put together a facebook, twitter, photography and a blog to put the Grizzlies on the social media map. The Grizz Roar was proud to be a part of that. But, it was only meant to be a stop gap until an official blog was born. Usually, the broadcaster from a BCHL team does a blog for most of the teams ???

As an unofficial blog, I had luxury of being a bit more edgy, but, at the same time, respectful to the organisation. I hope that was accomplished. It has been a thrill as a fan, to be able to do something for the team your passionate about.

Grizzlies fans will have lots to look forward to as the social media team goes from strength to strength with Tony, Mike, Roy and Kevin.

I'd like to say a big thank you, to Tony, Mike, Roy, Reza, the new Grizzlies ownership, players from the last two seasons, players parents/families, the fans for sure and most importantly my amazing wife and one year old daughter for allowing me the time to have done this.

Good luck to Bill and the boys in what looks to be an amazing season as we go forward.

Thanks folks it's been a blast!!!


Dave Findlay

Kathleen (My Daughter) says it best.... GO GRIZZ GO

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Alberni Valley Bulldogs 5 - 4 Victoria Grizzlies (OT) @ Weyerhauser Arena, Jan 16th, 2013

So in the seventh game between the two teams this season, it has almost felt play a playoff series.
High tempo, physical match ups, atmosphere and six of the seven games going into OT, has shown what these two teams have taken out of each other so far.

Wednesday night was no different, it was the same type of game including the Grizzlies registering a season high, 61 shots on goal. Bulldogs goalie Jay Deo, was certainly the difference maker tonight, stopping 58 out of 61 shots.
As the Dogs had held the lead for most of the night, going into the mid-way point of the third at 3-2. The Grizzlies looked liked they pulled off another epic comeback courtesy of goals from call up Josh Adkins and Leo Fitzgereald, who scored a few minutes apart to give the Grizzlies a 4-3 lead with two minutes to go in the game.
This time, luck would be on Alberni's side as at the 18:34 mark, they would score a powerplay goal from Ryan Lough, after Chris Albertini was given a five for kneeing and then a ten minute game misconduct. That Lough goal would tie the game 4-4, at the end of regulation.

Then, it would be Mr. Tourism, Vancouver Island himself, Teal Burns; who would score the winner in OT from the same powerplay, to seal a Bulldogs victory at 5-4.

A point away from home is still a pretty good result especially against a hard nosed team like the Bulldogs. With the Grizzlies missing Lawson, Bruce and Pilton from suspension (amount of games to be determined by the league), call ups Josh Adkins and Cole Pickup filled in nicely.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Nolan De Jong - Ranked 150th for North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting

Since the beginning of last season, Grizzlies fans could sense there was something special about this sixteen year old defenceman. With great hockey sense, ability to see the ice the way he does and dangerous going forward, Nolan De Jong, earned rave reviews in his first year in the BCHL and logged a lot of ice time.  This gave Nolan a chance to play in all situations and assisted with his development at this level. All this, despite the debacle of last seasons Grizzlies team.

One season later as a seventeen year old, De Jong hasn't missed a beat. A trip earlier on to suit up for Team Canada West in the Jnr A, Championships in Halifax earlier in the season, was a well deserved accolade in what must have been a great experience for Nolan.

So far this season, De Jong has settled in well to Bill Bestwick's system and on a winning team and mentality, his game can only get better. This type of form hasn't gone unnoticed from the pro-ranks, as we have seen quite a few more NHL scouts than usual, prowling around the Bear Mountain Arena.

The exciting news for Nolan and family as well as Grizzlies fans in that, De Jong has been ranked 150th by NHL scouting's Mid-term report for North American skaters. Now this by no means is a given that he'll be drafted at the NHL draft in New Jersey this summer, but, it does show that Nolan has deservedly attracted a lot of attention and is high on the radar right now.

With the amount of Major Junior and USHL players making up the bulk of the Mid-term rankings, Nolan is one of five BCHLers on this list. Another acknowledgement of the quality and standard that the best Jnr A league in the country has on offer this season.

Here are the BCHLers on the Mid-term NHL Central Scouting draft for North American players:

Ranking                     Name                      Team
# 62                      Adam Tambellini       Surrey Eagles
# 104                        David Pope            West Kelowna Warriors
# 132                      Cooper Rush            Chilliwack Chiefs
# 150                      Nolan De Jong         Victoria Grizzlies
# 162                        Dane Birks             Merritt Centennials

Nolan De Jong


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Victoria Grizzlies 2 - 1 Chilliwack Chiefs @ Bear Mountain Arena, Jan 12, 2013

If these teams eventually face each other in the playoffs, look out, as it’s gonna get darn right ugly. In what was an intense, physical match up and certainly reminiscent of old school hockey, as the Grizzlies and Chiefs slugged it out for three periods of hockey. The Grizzlies had the better of the possession and stood to to toe against a physical, well rounded Harvey Smyl side, who battled the Grizzlies all game long.

In what was a fast paced high octane first period, both teams had their chances and goalies Gillam (Chiefs) and our own Brady Rouleau would make some timely saves. Neither side could break the deadlock, but, you could feel the energy and intensity levels between the two teams.

Into the second period, things would get a little chippy and it would be a powerplay goal from Leo Fitzgerald, that would give the Grizzlies the lead as they finally managed to solve Mitch Gillam. The Chiefs defence faced a torrid time against the Triplets, who where relentless going forward tonight. Coupled with the size and strength of the likes of Lawson, Bruce, Nicholishen and David Muzarek; the Chiefs looked like they were starting to chase the game. Kiefer McNaughton and Keyler Bruce would drop the gloves in a spirited affair on the 12 minute mark. Bruce, who was out of his height and weight class, put in a good tilt against McNaughton who is built like a tank. On this occasion, Bruce lost the bout, but, his energy and display charged the home fans and his team mates. As far as the play went, the Grizzlies didn’t have it all the own way. The Chiefs who have one of most talented/experienced rosters in the league with play makers like Espisito, Plevy, Zielonka and Trevor Hills, gave the Grizzlies cause for concern on a number of occasions.

Into the third period, which was an intense affair, would boil over at the midway point as Cooper Rush, despite towering over Zach Urban, would feel the wrath of the Urbanator (sorry Zach) as Urban would take down his larger foe. Much to the delight of the Grizzlies faithful.Pearce Eviston, making his home debut for a second time, would give the Grizzlies some breathing room with his first Grizzlies goal of the season, for a 2-0 lead nine minutes into the second. However, the Chiefs determination would be rewarded as they would make it a grand stand finish with a goal from Austin Plevy three minutes from the buzzer.

The Grizzlies would hold on for the win, but, not until all hell broke loose just before and after the buzzer. A line brawl broke out as the pot exploded, multiple fights, misconducts, altercations involving both benches (which could have serious consequences) erupted. Suspensions will be rife and it took a long time tonight to get all of it sorted out from the officials stand point.

What a night, what an atmosphere, great crowd and the fallout from this one will be very interesting.
This result means the Grizzlies still have the best record in the league and sit atop of the BCHL standings. Victoria's winning streak is at a repsectable 4 wins in a row.

Grizz Roar stand outs:

Grizzlies –

Triplets - Yes the triplets again, who skated hard in an excellent 60 minute effort. The Triplets where great at both ends of the ice and really harassed the C’wack defence. Chilliwack, will be glad to see the back of Fitzgerald’s.

Brady Rouleau – Had his hands full with one of the best attacking teams in the league this season and stood up well.

Myles Powell – Was excellent tonight and his efforts on the PK and PP where outstanding.

Keyler Bruce - Does the little things well and is a player who gives it all for his teammates.

 Chiefs –

Trevor Hills – Greta effort and was a thorn in the Grizzlies side all night.

Luke Espisito – One of the league’s top scorer and a player who has excellent hockey sense. Fast and skillful, showed why he is one of the premier snipers in the league.

Mitch Gillam – In a BCHL season that has a great crop of goalies, Gillam maybe the best of the all. He kept them in the game tonight

From the BCHL website, here is a look at the third period penalties:

Victoria Grizzlies at 0:49 - Pearce Eviston for Hooking (2 Min.)
Chilliwack Chiefs at 0:49 - Jaret Babych for Roughing (2 Min.)
Victoria Grizzlies at 2:38 - Gerry Fitzgerald for Slashing (2 Min.)
Victoria Grizzlies at 7:32 - David Mazurek for Hooking (2 Min.)
Chilliwack Chiefs at 7:32 - Austin Plevy for Unsportsmanlike conduct (2 Min.)
Chilliwack Chiefs at 10:41 - Tanner Cochrane for Elbowing (2 Min.)
Victoria Grizzlies at 14:45 - Turner Lawson for Tripping (2 Min.)
Victoria Grizzlies at 15:20 - Zach Urban for Fighting (5 Min.)
Chilliwack Chiefs at 15:20 - Cooper Rush for Fighting (5 Min.)
Victoria Grizzlies at 15:20 - Zach Urban for Game Misconduct
Chilliwack Chiefs at 15:20 - Cooper Rush for Game Misconduct
Victoria Grizzlies at 19:49 - Jaden Schmeisser for Unsportsmanlike conduct (2 Min.)
Victoria Grizzlies at 19:49 - David Mazurek for Unsportsmanlike conduct (2 Min.)
Chilliwack Chiefs at 19:49 - Luke Esposito for Unsportsmanlike conduct (2 Min.)
Chilliwack Chiefs at 19:49 - David Thompson for Slashing (2 Min.)
Victoria Grizzlies at 19:49 - Team Penalty for Game Misconduct
Victoria Grizzlies at 20:00 - Kade Pilton for Fighting (5 Min.)
Chilliwack Chiefs at 20:00 - Trevor Hills for Fighting (5 Min.)
Chilliwack Chiefs at 20:00 - Shay Laurent for Fighting (5 Min.)
Victoria Grizzlies at 20:00 - Pearce Eviston for Roughing (2 Min.)
Chilliwack Chiefs at 20:00 - Trevor Hills for Cross-checking (2 Min.)
Victoria Grizzlies at 20:00 - Turner Lawson for Leaving the bench
Victoria Grizzlies at 20:00 - Turner Lawson for Game Misconduct
Victoria Grizzlies at 20:00 - Pearce Eviston for Game Misconduct
Victoria Grizzlies at 20:00 - Team Penalty for Game Misconduct
Victoria Grizzlies at 20:00 - Kade Pilton for Game Misconduct
Chilliwack Chiefs at 20:00 - Shay Laurent for Game Misconduct
Chilliwack Chiefs at 20:00 - Team Penalty for Game Misconduct
Chilliwack Chiefs at 20:00 - Trevor Hills for Game Misconduct


Saturday, 12 January 2013

Chase Kaiser a member of the Westshore Wolves

Rumours of Chase Kaiser departure to the Cowichan Valley Captials where a little premature as last night, Kaiser suited up for the VIJHL's, Westshore Wolves.

After his release from the Grizzlies on Thursday, rumours where rife that he was heading back to the Caps. But, in his Westshore debut, Chase recorded two assists in an excellent 3-1 against the power-house Saanich Braves.
Now weather Kaiser can get picked up by another Junior A team with the deadline passed, remains another issue. Although, the potential to AP with another BCHL club is still a real possibility.
With Chase's energy and talent, I'm sure I speak for most Grizzlies fans in that we hope to see him back at the Jnr A level soon.
However, in the Westshore Wolves, Kaiser is reunited with former Grizzlies Asst. Head Coach, Rob Doyle; who has the Wolves playing some good hockey after taking over from Vic Gervais mid-season.

In what looks to be a playoff bound Wolves team, the addition of Kaiser certainly adds spice to that South Division where the Cougars and Braves have dominated for most of the season

Friday, 11 January 2013

Victoria Grizzlies 3 - 2 Alberni Valley @ Weyerhauser Area, Jan 11, 2013

In the sixth contest between the teams this season, all six have been one goal games with five of the six going into OT. The Grizzlies do have the upper hand in the series with five wins and one loss. But, this isn't really a fair reflection of the match ups, as both teams have given each other everything they can handle and has intensified the rivalry with each other.

With the Grizzlies giving debuts to Keyler Bruce whose physical presence in the game was certainly felt and to forward Pearce Eviston making his return to the Grizzlies for a second spell. For the Dogs, former Grizz, Teal Burns would pull a Bulldogs jersey on for the first time. Burns, who is the first player in BCHL history to play for all five Island teams, after stints with the Grizzlies, Clippers, Kings, Caps and Bulldogs.

Victoria, did have the bulk of the position throughout the game, but, it would be the Bulldogs with two unanswered goals through Hansen and Tironese in the first two periods, that would make the difference.

Despite peppering goalie Jay Deo’s net throughout, the Grizzlies couldn’t make the break through and it would be down to the Triplets to turn the tide of the game in the third period. Goals from Myles and Gerry with assists from Leo would tie it up mid-way through the third. A last minute winner, which has been typical of the drama and action between the Dogs and Grizz this season, saw Myles Fitzgerald score the winning goal to make it a 3-2 final.

This win gives the Grizzlies an 11 point gap at the top of the Island and yes, we are the number one team on points in the BCHL right now. Congrats guys!!!!!!!


Grizz Roar look at the Grizzlies 2012/13 Trade Deadline

What was great to see about this year’s Grizzlies trade deadline was, is that they traded squad players for real impact players. Bill Bestwick, addressed the need for experience and scoring as he added two players who should make an impact as the Grizzlies go for glory.

Here is a Grizz Roar look at the trades so far:

Arrivals –
Pearce Eviston to the Grizzlies as part of the futures for Sean Robertson.

The signing of Pearce Eviston is a big boost for the forwards ranks as he is certainly a bona-fide top two line player. Eviston, who last wore a Grizzlies jersey as an 18 yr old during the 2010/11 season was one of the key players on that roster. During that season Pearce spent a great deal of time on the top line with the likes of Morley, Dias and Joel Lowry, so that experience should benefit the team.
After an up and down season with the WHL’s, Portland Winterhawks last year, his Jnr A rights where traded to Vernon from Victoria some time ago. Eviston, was putting up some decent numbers on an underachieving Vipers team and with things not going to plan, Pearce finds himself back on the Island for his second stint with the Grizzlies.
While his work ethic has been called into question on occasion, there is no doubting Eviston’s ability which was attracting scout’s from the pro ranks at one point. With this being Pearce’s last hoorah in the Junior ranks as a 20 year old, this opportunity with the Grizzlies is one he should not take likely. With numerous NHL scouts around Bear Mountain this season checking on some of the emerging Victoria talent, (more than in recent years) Eviston has the chance to show what he can do and maybe catch the eye. With an NCAA scholarship out of the question due to his WHL stint, an opportunity to make a CIS team could be on the cards depending on Eviston’s plans.
Whatever the case, this trade has allowed the Grizzlies to add a proven BCHL goal scorer which will be key in the next few months.
Welcome back Pearce.

Keyler Bruce to the Grizzlies while Garret Skrbich  heads to Cowichan.

Grizzlies Social Media team member and roving reporter Mike Mellings, mentioned about a month ago that the Grizzlies would do well to pick up Keyler Bruce at the deadline. How right he was, as the Grizzlies bring in the Caps, Captain for Skrbich. Bruce, is a tough customer as well as a fierce competitor. Keyler, will add energy and a physical presence into the line-up and teams who want to win championships, need players like a Keyler Bruce.
In the last three years, Bruce’s offensive production as increased nicely and he has a decent points tally of 21 points this season. Keyler, should certainly help the Grizzlies in a scoring capacity as well.
Grizzlies fans should be quite familiar with Keyler after his three years in the Valley, for the one’s that aren’t, you’re in for a treat.
Going the other way is forward Garret Skrbich, who put in a good effort, but, never really got going in Grizzlies colours. Garrett, didn’t really have a big role with the team at times and found himself on the third/fourth line quite often. A good skater, who can take and throw a hit, was effective on special teams, but, with a team like the Caps should find himself in a much bigger role with a lot more ice time. Acquired in the Bilious/Rockafellow trade from the Warriors at the start of the season; Skrbich amassed 10 points in 37 games this season. Good luck in the Valley, Garrett.