The Victoria Salmon Kings bring the Kelly Cup playoffs home on Wednesday with a 2-0 lead over the Utah Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinal.
The club’s spirited playoff run flies in the face of evidence that a major junior hockey team will replace the Kings for the 2011-12 season in Victoria.
Wednesday’s (April 20) game is 7:05 p.m. at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
The Salmon Kings won Games 1 and 2 in Salt Lake City on Friday and Saturday by the same score, 4-2.
After the Kings went down 1-0 in the first period on Saturday Chad Painchaud scored twice at 3:50 and 11:31 of the second period to make it 2-1. Kiel McLeod scored at 14:13 to make it 3-1 though the Grizzlies scored 30 seconds later to make it a one goal game again.
Tommy Maxwell scored the Salmon Kings’ insurance maker at 11:01 of the third.
In Game 1 it was Rick Cleaver who opened the scoring on the powerplay for Victoria.
Utah captain Simon Ferguson responded but defencemen Jeff Caister and Derick Martin scored back-to-back in the first and second periods to make it 3-1 Salmon Kings. Utah scored with 3:30 into the third to make it a close game with the Kings hanging on until Adam Taylor scored an empty-netter in the final minute.
Tickets start at $5.