The Sicamous Eagles have one of the worst records in the KIJHL, with only four wins so far this season. However, all four of those wins have come in the past month, so the Revelstoke Grizzlies weren’t taking them lightly heading into a home-and-home series last weekend.
“We just wanted to play effective hockey through two games,” said coach Ryan Parent. “We knew Sicamous was right on our ass and we wanted to put some distance to secure a playoff spot between us.”
The Grizzlies won both games, eking out a 3-2 win in Sicamous on Friday before blowing away the Eagles 7-0 at home on Saturday. The wins give the Grizzlies 11 points of breathing room over the Eagles in the race for the final playoff spot in the Doug Birks Division.
“Now we can set the target on Kamloops,” said Parent. The Grizzlies are eight points back of Kamloops, with three games in hand.
The Grizzlies piled into the bus for the trip through Eagle Pass on Friday. They got off to a strong start, with Ullar Wiatzka scoring an unassisted goal less than three minutes into the game. Curtis Belbin doubled Revelstoke’s lead with a power play goal less than three minutes later.
After a scoreless second, the Eagles got back into the game early in the third period, getting goals from Dominic Dumas and Jace Woodley less than two minutes apart.
Tommy Bodtker scored the game winner for Revelstoke with 14:27 left in the period and Giovanni Sambrielaz shut the door in net to let the Grizzlies hold on for a 3-2 win.
On Saturday, the teams enjoyed a rematch in front of a boisterous crowd at the Forum. Jordan Rae opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 12:31 of the first period.
The Grizzlies opened the floodgates in the second. Daniel Fisher scored 3:23 into the frame, firing a shot high blocker side from the slot. Tyler Chavez Leech made it 3-0 when Kael Norman sent him in on a breakaway. Raphael Bassot added to the Grizzlies lead with a power play goal when he picked up the rebound off a Matthew Monk shot that hit the crossbar.
Revelstoke kept up the pressure in the third period. Chavez Leech scored his second of the night on a 5-on-3 power play, then completed his hat trick 4.5 minutes later. Rae finished the scoring on the power play with eight minutes left in the game.
Revelstoke outshot Sicamous 63-33 in the game and Chris Wielenga posted a shutout in the 7-0 win.
“We wanted to make a statement,” said Parent. “Kamloops lost to them three times. That didn’t happen to us because I think we have a pretty resilient group.”
The Revelstoke Grizzlies are back on the road this weekend, with games against the Kamloops Storm on Friday and the North Okanagan Knights on Saturday. Their next home is Saturday, Dec. 10, when they host the Osoyoos Coyotes.
The Kamloops game will be key. “I think we have a team that can beat them,” said Parent. “It’s going to have be a gritty road win for us.”
“I’m pretty happy with the last two weekends and we just want to keep things humming,” he added.