New Grizzlies team, same expectations

Victoria Grizzlies head coach and general manager Bill Bestwick has great expectations for the rebuilt BCHL franchise

In his B.C. Hockey League coaching career Bill Bestwick has experienced teams with high turnover. But this year’s Victoria Grizzlies resemble that of an expansion team, not one that was within a win of the Coastal conference finals in 2011.

The new-look Grizzlies split the first two games at the BCHL showcase in Chilliwack last weekend, a 1-0 loss to the Coquitlam Express and a 5-4 overtime win against the Port Alberni Bulldogs. Tonight (Sept. 14) is the Grizz home-opener against the Powell River Kings.

“For a team of 17 new players, I thought they acquitted themselves well (in Chilliwack),” Bestwick said. “The Coquitlam game could have been 3-3, and it could have gone either way, both goalies were great.”

Coquitlam’s Cole Huggins stopped all 40 shots he faced for the shutout. Victoria’s Brady Rouleau saved 26 of 27 shots.

Rouleau, 19, won 12 games with the Cowichan Valley Capitals last year and was unlucky to be pinned with the team’s first loss on Friday. The Grizzlies’ other netminder, Michael Stiliadis, an 18-year-old import from Ontario, earned the win over Port Alberni on Saturday despite letting in four goals.

“You’re not going to see many shutouts in this league,” Bestwick said. “That said, from what I saw at the showcase, there is some extremely good goaltending in the BCHL this year.”

Bestwick only took over as the Grizz head coach and general manager in late June, which, by junior A hockey standards, is considered too late. Regardless, he and assistant coach-GM Craig Didmon got as busy as they could in the trading and recruiting department.

“I’ve never started with a team in July,” Bestwick said. “But the expectations aren’t any less. If anything, it’s a chance to shape this group of players into our philosophy.”

sports@vicnews.com

Just Posted

BREAKING: Kelly Ellard gets day parole extended for six more months

Ellard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997

New construction, housing prices down British Columbia

New housing prices dropped 0.4 per cent in Victoria in June 2019

Ten bikes reported stolen in 24 hours in Victoria

VicPD asking residents to check their bikes after spike in thefts

Tours showcase sculptures, art demos in final week of Oak Bay’s Arts and Culture Days

Arts and Culture Days ends with community picnic at Carnarvon Park on Aug. 29

Relative of man found dead in Saanich says he was missing for years

RCMP and a private detective had been searching for him since 2012

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. hockey player excited to join Humboldt Broncos

Defenceman Sebastien Archambault played last two seasons with Junior B Sicamous Eagles.

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

On vaccines, abortion, Goop, doctor Jen Gunter says: ‘I have a duty to speak up’

She speaks out on menstruation, the wellness industry and vaccines

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

Most Read