The Powell River Kings played possibly their best period of the season in the opener of game six against the Victoria Grizzles, but Victoria scored four unanswered in the second and third and forced a game seven with the 4-2 win.
After a dominant first period in which the Kings outshot Victoria 19-7, they held a 2-0 lead.
First it was Cam Donaldson who was able to bank the puck in off a body in front from a sharp angle at 5:45. Josh Coblenz took a pass from Johan Steen in the slot and cut towards the right circle before firing the puck past Matthew Galajda to make it 2-0 Kings after the opening period.
The rest of the game was quite different. Fighting to save their season, the Grizzlies came out in the second with more fight and got on the board in a controversial way.
Jonny Evans had the puck in the left-wing corner in the Grizzlies zone and was crossed checked up high and went down to the ice in clear pain. Victoria carried the puck up the ice, and Tyler Welsh finished off a passing play while Evans still laid in the corner in Victoria’s end. He had to be helped off the ice, but would return with a new jersey and face shield.
The Kings held a 2-1 lead after two, but their parade to the penalty box continued. On their eighth power play of the game the Grizzlies made the Kings play.
Jamie Rome was in the slot and took a pass from Cody Van Lierop before firing a wrist shot past Wilson’s blocker to tie the game at 6:58 of the third. Just 29 seconds later Victoria would score again.
Nick Guiney was parked in front of the net and Welsh fed him the puck from below the goal line. Wilson was caught looking the other way and Guiney was able to lift a backhand into the net to give Victoria their first lead of the night.
After firing 19 shots on net in the first period, the Kings managed just 21 more over the final 40 minutes as Guiney hit the empty net to seal the win and force a game seven.
The Kings and Grizzlies have played in a game seven before; March 16, 2011 the Kings won 4-1 at home on their way to their third-straight league final appearance. The Kings did drop their most recent game seven in the 2015 playoffs against Nanaimo.