The Revelstoke Grizzlies had a disappointing weekend as the team, decimated by a bout of the flu, lost twice at home.
“We had almost half the team get it,” said coach Ryan Parent. “If you’re going to have the flu, it’s not a bad time of year to get it… Now you’ve got that end-of-the-season window to shore play up and start playing some very good hockey into the end of the year.”
The Grizzlies fell 6-2 to the Summerland Steam on Friday and then got shut out by the Kamloops Storm on Saturday.
On Friday, the Grizzlies bench looked empty, with only 14 skaters dressed, including three affiliates — the result of a fever that infected the team. Brady Mende, Kyle Berry, Jeff Bochon, Jackson Caller, Tommy Bodtker, and Nicholas Higgs were all out sick, while Ryan Pereverzoff was called up to Junior A.
“I didn’t know there was going to be that many guys missing on Friday,” said Parent on the decision to let “Pez” head to Vancouver Island with the West Kelowna Warriors.
Revelstoke native Josh Pilon made his return home after being dealt to Summerland earlier in the season. He picked up a goal and three assists against his former teammates to lead his team a 6-2 victory. Kyle Baron and Michael LeNoury scored the Grizzlies two goals.
Despite the loss, Parent had positive thoughts about the game.
“We outplayed Summerland for the better part of two periods. We outshot them, I believe we out-chanced them,” said Parent. “I wasn’t disappointed in the level of play for what we had in the lineup. That being said, you throw the guys back in and you have a better chance to win.”
On Saturday, the division-leading Kamloops Storm were in town. The Grizzlies got Bochon and Mende back in the lineup, but they couldn’t keep pace with the Storm. Kamloops scored once in the first, twice in the second and added an empty netter with five minutes left to skate away with a 4-0 win.
“The reality is they had some very good goaltending,” said Parent. “We’re not totally healthy and we managed to outplay a team in many areas. For the most part, two out of three periods I thought we just played a better game than Kamloops.”
The Grizzlies have eight games left in the regular season, beginning with a tilt against the Chase Heat at home this Friday, Feb. 5. On Saturday, they head to Summerland for a rematch against the Steam.
Despite the losses, the Grizzlies clinched a playoff spot on the weekend. They sit 13 points back of the Heat for third place in the Doug Birks Division.
“We’ve got eight games left and we’re looking to continue to improve our play,” said Parent. “We’ve been playing good hockey and we need to translate that into some wins.”
He hopes to return next weekend with a healthy lineup.