With the release of the Victoria Grizzlies regular season schedule, I’ve decided to profile several games. These include games against division rivals, matches against playoff rivals, and one-and-done games.
Other BCHL Network writers have done similar game guides. Brieann Knorr wrote a profile on the Vernon Vipers season. Meanwhile, Chris Keck wrote a profile on the Cranbrook Bucks season. I recommend you check out both articles to see who the Vipers and Bucks are facing.
For my part, let’s start with Victoria’s first and last regular-season games.
Beginnings and endings
The Grizzlies’ first game of the 2021-22 season is their home opener on Friday, Oct. 8. It is against their Vancouver Island rival Bulldogs and is Alberni Valley’s first regular season game as well.
Throughout the Port Alberni pod this past season, the Grizzlies and Bulldogs competed to be number one. Victoria came out on top as the pod champion.
The Grizzlies’ final regular-season game is also their final home game of the season and it comes against the Coquitlam Express on Saturday, Mar. 19, 2022. The last time these teams played each other was Feb. 8, 2020 in Coquitlam with the Express doubling the Grizzlies 6-3.
Victoria’s last playoff opponent was the Salmon Arm Silverbacks as the two teams faced off during the first round of the 2020 playoffs. The series was forgettable for the Grizzlies as they were swept in four games by the Silverbacks.
Their game on Saturday, Oct. 30 is the first time both teams have faced each other since that series. It’s also the only time they face each other during the season.
Media time out of the first period and the Victoria Grizzlies are leading the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 1-0. Shots are even at 5 pic.twitter.com/mHrI6Yt8SK
— Victoria Grizzlies (@BCHLGrizzlies) March 4, 2020
Meeting the Cranbrook Bucks
Despite the Bucks entering the BCHL during the 2020-21 season, because of the pod-based structure of the season, the Grizzlies and Cranbrook have yet to faceoff.
That changes when the Bucks travel to Vancouver Island in late November. Their game on Friday, Nov. 26 at The Q Centre is the only time that Victoria and Cranbrook play each other.
- Thursday, Oct. 21: vs. Prince George Spruce Kings
- Friday, Oct. 22: at West Kelowna Warriors
The Grizzlies play two games at the 2021 Showcase in Chilliwack. In terms of the Spruce Kings, Victoria’s last game against Prince George was Oct. 26, 2019. Victoria and West Kelowna last faced off on Jan. 28, 2020.
These are the only games Victoria plays against Prince George and West Kelowna during the 2021-22 season.
- Sunday, Oct. 10: vs. Cowichan Valley Capitals
- Friday, Nov. 19: vs. Powell River Kings
- Saturday, Dec. 18: vs. Nanaimo Clippers
These are the dates Victoria faces members of the old Island Division. There’s nothing new about these match-ups, the Grizzlies faced Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley often during the Port Alberni pod this past season.
However, Nov. 19 is the first time Victoria meets Powell River since Feb. 22, 2020. It was the Grizzlies’ final regular season game of 2019-20, a 5-1 loss to the Kings.
First road trips
The Grizzlies’ first road trip is three games. They play the Capitals on Wednesday, Oct. 13, the Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 15, and Cowichan Valley again on Saturday, Oct. 16.
The Grizzlies’ first trip off Vancouver Island is for the two Showcase games against Prince George and West Kelowna on Thursday, Oct. 21, and Friday, Oct. 22.
— Victoria Grizzlies (@BCHLGrizzlies) January 29, 2020
Victoria travels beyond the Lower Mainland and into the Interior Conference to visit Salmon Arm on Saturday, Oct. 30, and Merritt for an afternoon affair on Halloween.
Victoria travels to Chilliwack, Penticton, and Trail on Nov. 12, 13, and 14 respectively. The game on Saturday, Nov. 13 at the South Okanagan Events Centre is the Grizzlies’ first visit to the Okanagan since a Jan. 4, 2020 game against Penticton. The last time Victoria played Trail was Oct. 12, 2019.
While the Grizzlies play every team once, they play the Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland teams more frequently because they are in the same conference. The Grizzlies don’t travel east of Trail to play Cranbrook or north of Salmon Arm to face Prince George. They do not travel south of the border to play Wenatchee either.
Saturday, Nov. 20 at The Q Centre is the only time Victoria and Wenatchee face off this season. The last time the Grizzlies played the Wild was Jan. 3, 2020 at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee.