Victoria native Drayson Pears (77) lines up for a faceoff against the Langley Riverman on Sept. 30. (Jessica Fedigan/News Gazette Staff)

Grizzlies win 4-3 in overtime against Rivermen

Victoria gives up two-goal lead but finds a way to win

The Victoria Grizzlies came out flying at The Q Centre in Colwood Saturday night, looking to redeem themselves from a 5-2 loss to the Vernon Vipers the night before during their home opener.

But the Grizzlies didn’t waste any time against the Langley Rivermen with Marty Westhaver scoring his first of the season, 47 seconds in to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead. Dayne Finnson and Drayson Pears had helpers on the goal.

But Langley answered at 6:41 with Nicholas Ponak tallying his fifth of the season.

Nearing the end of the first, Ethan Nother notched his fifth goal of the season to make it 2-1 for Victoria. Ryan Nolan and Cameron Thompson had assists on the marker.

Shots were tied 13-13 after one. Langley took roughing and slashing penalties but the Grizzlies weren’t able to capitalize with the advantage.

Most of the second period once again saw back and forth action and scoring chances for both teams. But the Grizzlies broke through at 18:36 with Jamie Rome scoring his fourth of the season assisted by Lucas Clark.

The Rivermen out shoot the Grizzlies 11-7 in the second period and led in that department 24-20 after the first two frames.

In the third the Grizzlies lost their two goal lead with Alec Capstick scoring for the Rivermen to pull the visitors within one near the end of the frame. But that wasn’t it for Langley. With under a minute left, Ponak added his second of the game to tie it up and send the game to overtime.

After three periods, the Rivermen led with 35-26 shots on net.

But the Grizzlies still had some fight left. Having opened the evening for the Grizzlies, Westhaver decided to finish it as well with the winner in the OT, with Alex Newhood with the assist. Both goals earned Westhaver first star for the game.

The Grizzlies now sit at 5-3-0 on the season and will return next Friday (Oct. 6) to host Cowichan Valley at The Q Centre with a 7 p.m. puck drop.

jessica.fedigan@goldstreamgazette.com