While his teammates were having trouble finishing their chances for most of the game on Friday, March 22, Alex Newhook was not.
The Victoria Grizzlies captain led his team to a key 4-2 victory in game five of their BC Hockey League second-round series against the Powell River Kings.
The Grizzlies can win the series with a game six victory at Hap Parker Arena in Powell River on Saturday, March 23, and move on to the BCHL final four. If a seventh game is needed, it goes Monday night at The Q Centre in Victoria.
The 18-year-old Newhook, projected to go in the first round of this summer’s NHL draft in Vancouver, scored a goal in each of the first two periods. He then set up the game winner midway through the third as the Grizzlies bounced back from an overtime loss in Powell River on Wednesday.
The two teams exchanged goals until the Grizzlies took over in the third. Marty Westhaver put the game on ice with a hard wrister from the faceoff dot that beat Mitch Adamyk high to blocker side.
After Newhook, who is committed to Boston College next fall, opened the scoring six minutes into the game, converting a nifty feed from New York Rangers draft pick Riley Hughes, Powell River sniper Ryan Brushett — headed to the NCAA and Nebraska-Omaha in the fall — drew the Kings even. Brushett beat Kurtis Chapman just four minutes into the second.
Newhook restored the lead with his eighth of the post-season before Jack Long put the Kings on even terms again. The teams were tied 2-2 after 40 minutes.
Grizzlies outshot the Kings 39-28.
The winner of the Victoria-Powell River series moves on to play the Prince George Spruce Kings, who swept the Chilliwack Chiefs in their division final. Prince George will have home-ice advantage.