The Victoria Grizzlies fell 5-3 to the Surrey Eagles during an away game Friday night, despite a promising start for the West Shore team.
The Grizzlies opened the scoring six minutes into the first, with right-winger Devon deVries earning his fifth of the season after slipping one past Eagles netminder Max Prazma.
The deVries goal would prove to be the only entry on the scoresheet for the first period, despite Victoria’s 14 shots on goal and Surrey’s 10.
Down by one, Surrey’s Jake Bongo slipped an equalizer past Grizzlies goalie Kyle Kelsey six minutes into the second, but the game would not remain tied for long.
Four minutes of play later, Kalen Szeto put the Grizzlies back into the lead with his ninth goal of the season.
Szeto’s goal was the last of the second, despite the best efforts of Surrey’s Michael Abgrall. The Grizzlies were called for hooking while Abgrall was on a breakaway, earning him a penalty shot.
He proved no match for Kelsey however, who managed to keep the Grizzlies up by one heading into the third.
But the Grizzlies’ efforts, which saw them outshoot Surrey 17-12 in the second, would run out of steam in the third. The Eagles would rally, unwilling to go out without a fight.
Four minutes into the final period, Buddy Johnson got his third of the season and tied the game for Surrey in the process.
On the powerplay, after a Victoria winger closed his hand on the puck, Abgrall got his revenge on Kelsey for stopping his earlier penalty shot, putting the Eagles in the lead for the first time in the game.
Just short of four minutes later, Jake Bongo would slip another past Kelsey, giving Surrey a two-goal lead.
The Grizzlies wouldn’t give up though, with Andrew Amousse scoring less than a minute later. It wouldn’t be enough to hold off the surging Eagles, however.
After Victoria pulled the goalie in an effort to get an equalizer and force overtime, Surrey’s Jacop Slipec got an empty net insurance goal with 30 seconds left in the game.
With Friday’s loss, the Grizzlies now sit 11th overall in the BCHL, with a record of 12-11-0-0. Surrey sits just above them 11th overall, with a record of 12-9-0-0.
Victoria continues its road trip Saturday as they hope to redeem themselves against the Langley Rivermen at the George Preston Arena. The two teams last met on Nov. 28, where Langley won 2-1 at The Q Centre.
The Grizzlies will also have a chance for redemption against Surrey on Sunday afternoon, as the team returns to the South Surrey Arena.