Defenceman Carter Berger scored his first two goals of the year, including the eventual winner late in the second period, as the Victoria Grizzlies downed the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 5-3 in B.C. Hockey League action in Port Alberni Wednesday night.
Keyvan Mokhtari also scored twice for the Grizzlies, who led 2-0 after one period but saw the Bulldogs tie the game 2-2 and 3-3 in the second.
The Grizzlies outshot the Bulldogs 11-6 in the third; Mokhtari scored into an empty net with 13 seconds to go.
Matthew Galajda stopped 23 shots in goal for Victoria, who outshot Alberni Valley 37-26 overall. Lucas Clark also scored in the win, while Trevor Cosgrove, Nicholas Rasovic and Connor Welsh tallied for the Bulldogs.
The teams do battle at Weyerhaeuser Arena again this Saturday night.
The Grizzlies (30-10-3-4) have already clinched a playoff spot, given that it’s mathematically impossible for the last-place Bulldogs to catch them in the Island Division standings. The win left Victoria six points up on second-place Powell River (30-17-1-0), who have played one more game.
The Grizzlies host West Kelowna Warriors tomorrow night (Jan. 27) at 7 p.m. at The Q Centre.
The game will be the last in which the team wears its special third jerseys supporting Wounded Warrior Canada for the month of January. Bidding on the jerseys closes at the puck drop to start the third period and 50 per cent of the proceeds raised will be donated to the cause, which helps those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Fans can purchase tickets for the game at the Grizzlies office at the arena, or at any McDonald’s restaurant on the West Shore. Fifty per cent of ticket sales at McDonald’s will also be donated to Wounded Warrior Canada.