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Victoria Grizzlies 2022-23 schedule profile

With the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season fast approaching, the Victoria Grizzlies are looking for a better result after suffering a first-round exit against the Langley Rivermen.

In the off-season, Rylan Ferster became the Grizzlies’ new head coach and general manager, replacing Craig Didmon in both roles.

With this article, I want to do a profile of their upcoming season but before that, I want to mention a new player joining the team.

Before the 2022 playoffs, the Grizzlies recruited several players who I profiled in a past article. Since then, another player joining Victoria is defender Turner Richards.

Richards comes from The Winchendon School in the USHS Prep school league. He also played for the Neponset Valley River Rats U18 team this past season, along with fellow Grizzlies recruit Jack Brandt. Last season, Richards scored eight goals and 14 assists in 42 games split between Winchendon and the River Rats.

Beginnings and endings

As for the 2022-23 schedule, the Grizzlies open their season at home on Sept. 23 vs. the Alberni Valley Bulldogs before hosting the West Kelowna Warriors the next night. The last time Victoria played the Warriors was during the 2021 BCHL Showcase.

Victoria’s first road game is Oct. 1 against the Nanaimo Clippers and the Grizzlies’ final road game is Mar. 24 against the Bulldogs.

Finally, the Grizzlies close out the season on home ice on Mar. 26 against Alberni Valley. In total, Victoria plays the Bulldogs seven times.

For the 2022 BCHL Showcase at the Chilliwack Coliseum, the Grizzlies play two games. On Monday, Oct. 17, Victoria plays a road game against the Warriors and its second game at the Showcase is a home game. On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Grizzlies host the Merritt Centennials.

The last time Victoria was at the BCHL Showcase, the Grizzlies played the Warriors and Prince George Spruce Kings and lost both games.

Special games

On Oct. 2, the Grizzlies play the Langley Rivermen for the first time since their first-round playoff matchup.

Five days later, the Grizzlies travel north to match up against the Spruce Kings for the first time in more than three years. The last time Victoria played in Prince George was Sept. 13, 2019, and it lost that game 6-1.

On Nov. 6, the Grizzlies will host the Trail Smoke Eaters, which is the first meeting since Nov. 14 last year, when Victoria won 6-2. Then, on Remembrance Day in Canada and Veteran’s Day in the U.S., the Grizzlies travel to Wenatchee to play the Wild for the first time since Jan. 3, 2020.

A day later, a unique match-up occurs when the Grizzlies travel to Cranbrook to play the Bucks. It is the first time Victoria meets the BCHL’s newest team.

Both teams were scheduled to play each other last season but heavy rain caused damage to highways in the BC Interior and because of this, Cranbrook could not travel to Victoria. The schedule change caused the Grizzlies to cancel a planned tribute to the Fitzgerald brothers. Myles Fitzgerald is an assistant coach for the Bucks.

Another marquee game on the calendar arrives on Feb. 4 when the Grizzlies host the defending Fred Page Cup champion Penticton Vees. The last time Victoria played the Vees was Nov. 13, 2021, and was defeated 6-3.

Frequent matchups

As noted above, the Grizzlies face the Bulldogs seven times during the regular season. As for the other former Island Division teams, the Grizzlies will play the Kings, Clippers, and Capitals seven times each.

For the Lower Mainland-based teams, Victoria faces Surrey, Coquitlam, Langley, and Chilliwack each four times.