Griz­zlies post their first win in We­natchee

Times Colonist - - Sports - VIC­TO­RIA 3 WE­NATCHEE 1

Kenny John­son couldn’t have picked a bet­ter time to score his first goal as a mem­ber of the Vic­to­ria Griz­zlies.

John­son, the 20-year-old de­fence­man picked up Thurs­day in a trade with the Pen­tic­ton Vees, scored his first goal in just his sec­ond game for Vic­to­ria at the 6:18 mark of the sec­ond pe­riod Satur­day in We­natche that paved the way to a 3-1 vic­tory for the Griz­zlies over the Wild at the Town Toy­ota Cen­ter.

It was the Griz­zlies fran­chise’s first win in We­natchee. They were 0-3-1 in their only four vis­its to the Wash­ing­ton state-based club.

Af­ter los­ing in Lan­g­ley on Fri­day night, that snapped a three-game win­ning streak, the Griz­zlies came fly­ing out the gate in We­natchee and it only took cap­tain Alex Ne­whook 40 sec­onds to open the scor­ing when he fired a high wris­ter from the slot past Wild net­min­der Austin Park. It was Ne­whook’s 22nd goal and B.C. Hockey League­lead­ing 65th point of the sea­son.

Af­ter Marko Reifen­berger beat Griz­zlies goal­tender Kur­tis Chap­man just 1:15 into the sec­ond pe­riod on the power play to draw the Wild even, John­son parked him­self in front of the net on a Griz­zlies’ power play and promptly took a nice feed from Ryan Nolan and slid it un­der Park.

Jor­dan Guiney rounded out the scor­ing with an empty-net goal with seven sec­onds re­main­ing.

Chap­man fin­shed with 33 saves to pick up his 19th win of the sea­son, while Park took the loss, mak­ing 20 stops.

The vic­tory keeps the Griz­zlies atop the Is­land Di­vi­sion at 26-13-2-0, while the Wild drop to 25-15-2-0. The Griz­zlies now head north to Trail where they’ll take on the Smoke Eaters to­day a 3 p.m. Vic­to­ria’s stretch of six straight road games con­tin­ues next week­end when they visit Powell River for a pair of games against the Kings.

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