Victoria Grizzlies forward Justin Michaelian skates by Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Christian Simeone in game 5 of BCHL playoff action at The Q Centre on Friday. The Grizzlies completed a reverse sweep to move on to round two. (Lindsey Horsting/News Gazette staff)

Victoria Grizzlies complete rare reverse sweep, advance to round two of BCHL playoffs

Grizzlies to take on the Powell River Kings in second round

The Victoria Grizzlies have pulled off a rare reverse sweep of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs to advance to round two of the B.C. Hockey League playoffs.

Despite dropping the first three games of the best of seven series, the Grizzlies clawed their way back to defeat the Bulldogs 3-1 in game 7 at The Q Centre Sunday afternoon.

The Grizzlies came out hot with Finn Withey opening scoring from Marty Westhaver and Jordan Guiney at the 6:24 mark of the first, getting one by Bulldogs netminder John Hawthorne.

Victoria’s Cameron Thompson notched his fourth of the series, at 4:12 into the third from Ethan Nother. Cole Noble extended the Grizzlies’ lead just two-and-a-half minutes later with a shot from Jamie Rome and Shawn O’Malley.

The Bulldogs got on the board with a minute left in the game with a goal from Julian Benner from Michael Sacco and Mitchell Oliver.

Grizzlies’ netminder Kurtis Chapman, who made 31 saves on 32 shots, earned the first star of the game, while Thompson and Noble rounded out the three stars.

The Grizzlies will take on the Powell River Kings in the second round of the playoffs, with action getting underway on March 17 at The Q Centre. The Kings defeated the Nanaimo Clippers in game 6 of the Island division semi final series to advance.

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