The Forum was half full for the Grizzlies first home game of the regular season. Pre-season games saw only 250 fans, however, provincial regulations allowed for 50 per cent capacity for the regular season. Fans wore masks when moving around, but not at their seats. (Jocelyn Doll-Revelstoke Review)

Piercey’s Playboook: The view from the press box

A review of this year’s hockey season from the play-by-play commentator

Another season of Grizzlies hockey has come to a happy ending.

There’s plenty to look back on fondly as this season comes to a close: the “hey baby’s”, the smell of vinegar on fries, the friendly faces of other passionate fans, the renditions of the national anthem by Revelstoke’s own Gorgeous George, and so much more.

For me, as the play-by-play commentator for the team, it’s a bitter-sweet feeling.

I spent a lot of hours in that wooden box hanging above the benches on the mic. Bob, Byron and I covered a lot of good hockey at the Forum.

Over the course of the season, I developed an ever-growing connection to the team through the broadcast. Parents of the players greeted Bob and me after games to thank us for giving them an outlet to watch their kids play, and often, corrected pronunciation.

Being involved with the volunteer team has given me a new perspective on what it takes to make the puck drop on game nights.

When I lived in Toronto before coming here, I was used to watching my sports at Scotiabank Arena, Rogers Centre, or BMO Field: massive monoliths of sport with giant corporations behind them to make game nights run smoothly.

Here, and in all the small barns across the country, game nights rely on the hard work and dedication of locals who work during the day and sacrifice their evenings to make bringing hockey to the community possible.

They do it for the good of the community, and for nights like last week when all those long days and late nights paid off with a championship banner that will hang in the Forum for a very long time.

This year, the Forum played host to the most skilled and hardest working team in the league.

The boys put on some thrilling performances. The late comeback against Chase in January where the captain Cole ‘Ice’ Berg scored the dagger on an incredible solo dipsy-doodle will stick out in my hockey memory for years.

Revelstoke is home to some of the most passionate hockey fans I have ever seen, both on the family side and the beer garden side. The welcome I received from the fans, players and coaching staff is a testament to how this community rallies around their team.

Until next puck drop, I’ll end this column like we end all Grizzlies broadcasts: “So, in the meantime and in-between-time, this has been another edition of Grizzlies hockey. Have a good night folks.”

READ MORE: Piercey’s Playbook: Why do we love live sports?

READ MORE: Piercey’s Playbook: Resolving your resolutions


@josh_piercey
josh.piercey@revelstokereview.com

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