Grizzlies sweep dual home openers

Rebuilt team gets off to winning start

After a tough season last year that followed prior, equally tough seasons, it looks like the Grizzlies are stoked to be a force to be reckoned with this season.

The team took to the ice on Friday night against the Kamloops Storm for the first of a home double-header and downed the storm three to one, in a game that was never really a contest.

Scoring started at with 3:57 left on the clock in the first period when Joel Scrimbit found the net in what seemed like an effortless goal off a pass from Cole Golden. The team added to the lead when, in the second period, Ullar Wiatzka scored at the 15:34 mark.

Clark Nelson added a power play goal in the third and it was all but over, despite Kamloops single goal of the night by Mitch Fargey.

The stars of the game Friday night was Clark Nelson for the Grizzlies with Mitch Fargey being named the away star.

The second period saw a flurry of penalties but Coach Ryan Parent said that officiating may have played a role.

“They missed a couple of break-away calls in the second and right after we had those penalties. But I don’t fault the officials. It’s early in the season for them as well and they do their best. It’s all part of the game,” said Parent.

Things got even better on Saturday night when the Grizzlies walked over the Chase Heat, crushing them in a 6-2 contest that was enough to make the home crowd believe that rebuilding is over for the team. Two goals by Joel Scrimbit and Jack McNamara were answered by a single power play goal by Chase Heat’s Keaden Black in the first period.

Two more unanswered goals put the Grizzlies ahead by three in the second period when Matt Cadden and Ullar Wiatzka each found the back of the net.

The Grizzlies continued their romp over the Heat in the third with Clark Nelson scoring an unassisted power play goal, followed with Wiatzka’s second goal of the night.

A lone third period goal from the Heat’s Cory Loring wasn’t enough to help the visiting team.

Coach Ryan Parent was pleased with the way his boys performed but refuses to make too much of the wins.

“Of course we always hope for a great season but I’m not going to presume to think anything about the future yet. We’re going to take one game at a time,” said Parent, adding how he was pleased to see point contributions from almost the entire line-up.

“We had a number of veterans out because of suspensions that carried over but we had a group of young guys who really stepped up.

The team has been rebuilding the roster after two bad years that saw them out of the playoffs followed by two first round exits.

Next weekend will see the Grizzlies play in Summerland followed by a return game with Chase.