The Alberni Valley Bulldogs looked poised to get their first win of their Island Division playoff series after Mitch Deelstra scored a pair of third period goals, but Cameron Thompson spoiled the Bulldogs’ comeback attempt when he scored 9:15 into overtime to give the Victoria Grizzlies a 6-5 victory and a 3-0 series lead.
The teams traded goals in the first period, with Marty Westhaver scoring just 1:18 into regulation to give the visitors an early lead. Marcus Walter evened the score at the midway point of the period, but Westhaver struck again just 18 seconds later to put Victoria back ahead. The Bulldogs clawed back though, as Josh Zary capped a fine individual effort when he beat Kurtis Chapman off the post blocker side.
Ryan Miotto put Alberni ahead early in the second, but penalties would then spell trouble as Victoria capitalized on three man-advantage opportunities to in the span of five minutes to take a two goal lead.
Deelstra brought the Dogs back in the third period, first scoring at 10:43 of the period and again with just 55 seconds remaining following a unbelievable play by Aaron Bohlinger. The Grizzlies were seconds away from icing the game with John Hawthorne pulled for the extra attacker and Victoria on a three-on-one rush, but Bohlinger went down to block Ryan Nolan’s shot and Jackson Doucet hit Deelstra with a cross-ice pass entering the offensive zone that the rookie forward deposited past Chapman.
The teams traded chances in overtime but the Grizzlies ended the game after Hawthorne had made a breakaway save on Westhaver. Thompson picked up a loose puck in the Alberni zone and shot through a screen for the winner.
The shots finished 41-39 in favour of the Bulldogs, who will now be fighting for their playoff lives in Game 4 on Wednesday night. Faceoff is set for 7:00 PM.