The Chilliwack Chiefs found out a lot about Victoria Grizzlies goaltender Matthew Galajda Saturday night, and the news wasn’t good.
Hosting game two of the Coastal final at Prospera Centre, the Chiefs were eager to see how the BCHL’s best keeper would bounce back from a disastrous game one. Galajda was yanked after coughing up five goals on 15 shots. He didn’t get any help from his defence as Chilliwack won 7-3, but it was fair to wonder how the Ontario native would bounce back.
Thirty nine saves and a 2-0 win that ties the series at one game apiece heading back to Victoria.
The Grizzlies and Chiefs were both determined to lock it down on D, making life easier for Galajda and his Chiefs counterpart, Mark Sinclair. Neither team had an inch of open ice or more than a split second to shoot, and it took 39:02 to find the first goal.
The visitors got it on a power play late in the middle frame.
Chilliwack captain Jordan Kawaguchi was banished to the box for slashing, slamming his stick against the glass as he took his seat. On the PP, Victoria’s Keyvan Mokhtari took a pass from defenceman Cody Van Lierop and lasered a wrist shot from the high slot. His bullet beat Chiefs netminder Mark Sinclair through a screen, popping the goalie’s water battle into the air as the Grizzlies celebrated.
Gooch had words for the refs on his way back to the bench.
Kawaguchi’s crew threw everything they had at Galajda in the final frame, directing 19 pucks on net.
The best chance belonged to Anthony Vincent, who had a point-blank shot from 12 feet out on the rebound of a Connor McCarthy shot and missed over the crossbar. Chilliwack coach Jason Tatarnic called Sinclair to the bench with 1:36 remaining and seconds later Mokhtari iced the game with an empty net goal.
The three stars were Galajda (first), Ben Fanjoy (second) and Mokhtari (third).
The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Fanjoy.
Announced attendance was 2,315.
The series resumes Tuesday night in Victoria.