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Grizzlies Double Up On Chiefs

The Chiefs played just their second game in a week Saturday night at Prospera against the Victoria Grizzlies.

Normally, this is where I’d give you the old “They came out flat as a result of the time off” cliche, but in fact, it was quite the opposite. The team was ready to go. They played well at times, but not enough in a 4-2 loss on home ice.

As always, you can check out JB’s rundown by clicking here.

As for what I saw:

– Special teams played a big part of the story. The Chiefs registered both goals on the man-advantage. Their first powerplay goal was created on some great work by Austin Plevy. Plevy was able to knock the puck out of the reach of Victoria defenseman Nolan De Jong with a deft little poke check. As that happened, Josh Hansen had the presence of mind to kick the loose puck up to his stick behind the Grizzly goal, show patience at the side of the net, and send the wraparound attempt to the far post.

These instances can all be filed under ‘Working Effectively In A Phone Booth’.

– For those keeping score at home: Josh Hansen has now scored in three straight games.

– Hansen deserved an assist on the Chiefs second goal, also on the powerplay, when he provided a screen in front of Grizzlies’ goaltender Mike Stilliadis, allowing Cooper Rush’s point shot to find it’s way through. I’ll just go out on a limb here and suggest that Hansen is playing some of his best hockey as a Chief at the moment.

– The Fitzgerald triplets were as effective for the Grizzlies on this night as I thought they would be. Gerry, Leo, and Myles continued to buzz, and you always knew when they were on the ice. It was Gerry’s goal that tied the game in the second period at one after the Chiefs were caught running around in their own zone, and had failed to clear the puck.

– I was impressed with the play of Victoria defenseman D.J. Jones. Jones finished with a goal (the GWG) and an assist, played big minutes, and quarterbacked the powerplay for stretches. Jones played in Penticton last year on the RBC Cup Champs, and was lost in the shuffle behind Mike Reilly and Troy Stecher. Jones will shine now that he’s out of that shadow. That’s what makes junior hockey so great.

– Stilliadis’ save on Luke Esposito early in the third period on a 2 on 1 with the game still tied at 2 – That was a biggie. You need big saves to win on the road in this league. The Grizzlies’ netminder made them when he had to, including a late Chiefs powerplay in the third while the hometown side was down by a goal.

– Mitch Gillam on Chase Kaiser in the second period – might be the stop of the year. In the league. Not just in my mind. Nolan De Jong did a terrific job hitting Kaiser with a cross seam pass from the right circle to the goalmouth on the left side. Gillam had committed, Kaiser dragged it across to finish the deke – and Gillam reached back with the glove to snatch it off the goal line as he was moving in the other direction.

– Finally, in one of the weirder things I’ve seen, Trevor Hills would have had a breakaway from the redline in about halfway through the second period – except the puck somehow got caught up in his equipment after he created the turnover at centre ice. I’ll remember the image of Hills coasting in on goal while trying to fish the puck out of his pants for some time to come.

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