THE BATTLE OF THE MALAHAT BECOMES DILUTED BY CHRISTMAS CHEER JUST BEFORE THE HOLIDAY BREAK!
GRIZZLIES 5, CAPITALS 2.
Before this game I was talking to one of our players who told me he expected this game might become a gong-show at the end. Fortunately this did not happen and all our boys managed to go home for Christmas relatively unscathed! Not to say that it was not a spirited game with lots great hockey to keep the fans entertained—just that both teams were quite well disciplined! The violence that sometimes erupts when these two hot headed rival teams from opposite sides of the Mountain meet was tamed in this last meeting before the Christmas break!
It was great to see some of our goals being scored by the new members of our team! It was great to see our AP Brady Coulter score his first goal as a Grizzlie, and to have a goal scored by rookie Dante Hahn! Dante is definitely making his presence on our team known.
Congrats to Chris Albertini who was chosen as the Energy player of the game!
Congratulations to both goal tenders, Brady Roleau who was big in helping the Grizzlies win five to two over the Capitals, and to the Caps goalie Derek Dunn who's defense was starting their Christmas break a little early and allowed Dun to have 46 shots fired on him! I have a lot of respect for him—he is a very good goalie!
Huge congratulations to Myles Fitzgerald who now has made it three Fitzgerald hat tricks in the last 3 few games! You awesome threesome are really a treat to watch! Keep up the good work guys!
Thanks to the referee Jordy Davis who reffed a great game, allowing the guys to play relatively uninterrupted for the first two periods which in my opinion was instrumental in keeping the frustration of the players in check and stopping the usual violent play that erupts when these two strong teams meet each other. He did clamp down a bit in the third period, keeping things under control. There were only 12 penalties in the entire game, with most coming in the the third period when thing usually get chippy!
The three stars of this game were—First star from Vic. Myles Fitzgerald, Second star also from Vic. DJ Jones, and the third star from Cowichan Steen Cooper.
The first period of the game started as usual with the Grizzlies spotting the opposition the first goal. It was scored by Jesse Nehr from Cowichan. It has become more than coincidence that when the Grizz do spot the other team that first goal the Grizz usually win that game! They seem to be energized by having to come from behind! And they did exactly that with 2 goals in a row when at 12.21 our AP Brody Coulter scored from Turner Lawson and Stefan Nicholishen, then at 18.20 Myles Fitzgerald scored from his brother Gerry. However, at 19.33 Cowichan got one back when Keyler Bruce scored. The first period ended with the Grizzlies tied with the Caps at 2 goals apiece.
The second and the third period were pretty well dominated by the Grizz who never seem to let up! At 12.08 of the second period of this exciting game Myles Fitzgerald scored his second game goal form Blake Thompson and DJ Jones, and at 17.27 our youngster Dante Hahn score from Chris Albertini and Garrett Skrbich. This gave our Grizzlies a 2 goal lead of 4 to 2 going into the third period.
In the third period you could see that the steam had gone out of the Caps. They were already thinking of “Home for Christmas” as the outcome of the game became inevitable. Big congratulations to the entire Cowichan team for keeping their cool pretty well and not letting things get really out of hand. The only goal scored in this period was at 7.26 when Myles Fitzgerald scored his hat trick winning goal! Great game guys!
Our Grizzlies now dominate the Island division by 8 points over second place Alberni. We are 2 points over the mainland division leader Chiliwack, and only one point behind the BCHL leading champions the Penticton Vees---but our Grizzlies have one game in hand over the Vees!! And lastly, our Grizzlies have now moved up into eighth place in the overall CJHL rankings! Not bad for a team just “thrown together at the last minute” by our great coach and GM, Bill Bestwick! Lookout Canada!
TO ALL OUR LOYAL GRIZZLIES FANS, PARENTS, PLAYERS AND STAFF—HAVE A GREAT CHIRSTMAS ! OUR OWNERSHIP, COACHING STAFF AND OUR AWESOME PLAYERS HAVE GIVEN US, THE FANS THE BEST PRESENT WE COULD ASK FOR!!! A WINNING TEAM!