From Greg Sakaki/Black Press
Round two is within reach for the Victoria Grizzlies on Thursday.
The Grizzlies snuffed out the Nanaimo Clippers 3-0 on Tuesday in Nanaimo to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven playoff series.
Tuesday’s contest was intense but filled with penalties, and the Grizzlies tallied twice with the man advantage while the Clippers were stymied.
Grizzlies forward Dustin Johnson said his team battled hard in Game 4 and got strong goaltending.
“When your goalie’s playing good, you’re playing good,” he said. “We didn’t have to worry about making too many mistakes out there because we knew Ginner was going to stop the puck.”
Nanaimo outshot Victoria 32-23 but couldn’t get any pucks past Grizz goalie Matt Ginn except one that was kicked in and disallowed late in the third period.
There was no scoring in the game until late in the second period, when Victoria scored its two PP markers in a two-and-a-half minute span. Four and a half minutes into the third, Grizzlies player Joel Lowry scored an insurance goal on an individual effort. Nanaimo kept playing hard until the end but didn’t generate a great deal of dangerous scoring chances.
“Things just weren’t going right for us. We didn’t have the luck, obviously,” said Gerry Fitzgerald, Clippers forward. “We had the work ethic, we just didn’t put the puck in the net.”
GAME ON … Thursday’s game starts at 7:15 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria. Game 6, if necessary, will be Friday at 7:10 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena … Clippers’ leading scorer and team MVP Andrew Gladiuk missed Game 4 with a lower-body injury and is doubtful for Game 5.