It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
Not for Victoria. Not for Alberni.
But the underdog Alberni Valley Bulldogs waltzed into the capital this weekend and skated home with a surprising 2-0 lead in their opening round best-of-seven playoff against the heavily favoured Victoria Grizzlies, after winning a pair of games in overtime.
Sunday afternoon’s game, which took place at The Q Centre, was mostly a game of back and forth that the Bulldogs ended by winning it 5-4 in overtime.
That came less than 48 hour after the ‘Dogs, despite not having a lead throughout the entire game, took game one — also 5-4 in overtime.
On Friday, the Grizzlies struck first, netting one goal in the first and a quick goal in the second, before Bulldogs’ affiliate player Dawson Tritt scored his first BCHL goal. Before the end of the second period, Bulldogs’ captain Mitch Oliver scored to tie things up.
Both clubs exchanged goals throughout the third period, with Bulldogs’ forward Cole Poliziani grabbing one and forward Michael Sacco potting a dramatic tally with less than six minutes remaining in the game.
In overtime, Poliziani scored his second goal to take the game.
Bulldogs’ goaltender John Hawthorne stopped 34 of 38 shots, while Victoria netminder Zachary Rose stopped 32 of 37.
Game 3 goes Tuesday, March 6 and game 4 goes the following night, both at the Weyerhaeuser Arena. Puck drops at 7 p.m.