Historic Upsets and Wins: Memorable Moments in Victoria Grizzlies History

Victoria Grizzlies

From passionate fans, adrenaline-pumping games, to nail-biting finishes, the world of minor hockey is a hub of excitement and unforgettable moments. Among the many teams that have captivated the hearts of hockey enthusiasts, the Victoria Grizzlies have built their own rich and remarkable history in the sport. Situated in Victoria, British Columbia, the Grizzlies are known as a formidable force in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and have made a name for themselves in the North American and international hockey scene.

With over two decades of history, the Grizzlies have had their fair share of ups and downs, but it is the moments of triumph and adversity that have truly defined this team. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the most remarkable and historic upsets and wins in Victoria Grizzlies history.

The Beginning of a Legacy – The Inception of the Victoria Grizzlies

In 1994, the Victoria Grizzlies were founded as an expansion team in the BCHL. Led by local businessman Ray Erwin, the team began to establish itself in the league and quickly gained a loyal following. In their first season, they made it to the playoffs but were eliminated in the first round. However, this was just the beginning of their journey towards becoming a powerhouse in the league.

The Upset of 2003 – A Cinderella Story

In the 2002-2003 season, the Grizzlies were considered underdogs heading into the playoffs. They were up against the top-ranked Chilliwack Chiefs, who were heavily favored to win the series. But the Grizzlies defied the odds and swept the Chiefs in four games, becoming the first team in BCHL history to defeat the top-ranked team in the first round of playoffs.

This remarkable upset propelled the Grizzlies to face the Surrey Eagles, who were also favored to win the series. Once again, the Grizzlies shocked everyone by defeating the Eagles in five games, securing a spot in the BCHL Championship Series for the first time in their history. Though the Grizzlies lost the series to the Vernon Vipers, this unforgettable and historic upset cemented their place in the BCHL, as well as the hearts of their fans.

The Bantam Draft Bonanza – A Turning Point for the Grizzlies

In 2010, the Grizzlies made a bold move by acquiring a record nine players in the BCHL bantam draft. This move not only added depth to the team but also brought in some of the most talented players in the league. Among these players were future NHL draft pick Nolan De Jong and eventual Grizzlies captain Mitch Meek.

This extraordinary draft eventually paid off, as the Grizzlies went on to make it to the playoffs for six consecutive seasons, starting from 2011 to 2016. This period saw the team produce some of its best players, including NHL draft picks Jake Ramsey, Dane Gibson, and Cole Pickup, who have gone on to play professionally.

The National Championship – A Cinderella Story Continued

In 2014, the Grizzlies once again made history by becoming the first team in the BCHL to win the Canadian Junior A National Championship, known as the RBC Cup. Despite starting the season with a 1-5 record, the team turned their season around and finished with a record of 26-10-2, securing a spot in the playoffs.

In the playoffs, they dominated the competition, sweeping their first two rounds before battling the Alberta Junior Hockey League champions Spruce Grove Saints in the finals. In a nail-biting game, the Grizzlies emerged victorious, with future NHL draft pick Brayden Gelsinger scoring the overtime winner to secure the national championship title. This milestone not only brought glory to the franchise but also solidified their status as one of the top teams in the BCHL.

The Win and the West Coast Express – A Season to Remember

In the 2018-2019 season, the Grizzlies had an unforgettable run that saw them lift the Island Division title and reach the BCHL finals for the third time in their history. Led by a talented lineup of players, including future NHL draft pick Alex Newhook, the team broke multiple franchise records, including a 17-game win streak that spanned from late November to early January.

The unforgettable season also saw the Grizzlies produce three players who were selected in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft – Alex Newhook (Colorado Avalanche, 1st round), Henri Schreifels (Toronto Maple Leafs, 7th round), and Carter Berger (Florida Panthers, 4th round). In addition, Captain Alex Newhook was awarded the Vern Dye Memorial Trophy for being named the league’s Most Valuable Player.

The Grizzlies continue to make history and create memorable moments in the world of minor hockey. With a dedicated fan base and a talented roster, the future looks bright for this team, and we can all look forward to more unforgettable upsets and wins in the years to come.

Jump into the Minor Hockey Talk Forum and Join the Discussion

If you’re a hockey fan, it’s hard not to get excited about the Victoria Grizzlies and their inspiring journey. From historic upsets to unforgettable wins, the Grizzlies have certainly etched their mark in the BCHL and the minor hockey world. So, what are you waiting for? Come join the discussion on the Minor Hockey Talk forum and share your thoughts on the Grizzlies and all things hockey.


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