TJ Christensen scored his first goal of the season against Sicamous last Friday. He chose a good time to get – with 1:05 left in a 5-5 game.

Grizzlies bear down with two key victories over division rivals

Revelstoke Grizzlies defeat Sicamous and North Okanagan in weekend action.

The Revelstoke Grizzlies got goals from several unexpected sources en route to winning both its games over division rivals last weekend.

TJ Christensen scored his first goal of the season to give Revelstoke a 6-5 win over the Sicamous Eagles, while Braden Seyl scored his first three goals of the season, including the winner of Saturday’s 6-4 victory over the North Okanagan Knights.

“It’s great having guys who don’t produce as much step up like that,” said assistant coach Kevin Kraus.

The Grizzlies played with a short bench over the weekend, with captain Reid Blinkhorn, Riley Creighton, Austin Donaldson, and Kent Hendrickson all suspended as a result of last week’s brawl against Kamloops.

The weekend started Friday against Sicamous. With coach Randy Quakenbush still suspended, Kraus assumed head coach duties.

Friday’s game saw Revelstoke fall behind 3-1 early in the second period. It wasn’t until the second half of the game that Revelstoke responded. Jordan Bledsoe started the comeback with a goal from Marc Letourneau and Michael Roberts. AP Eric Austin tied the game 96 seconds later and Letourneau gave Revelstoke a 4-3 lead shortly after.

Sicamous responded with a goal from Brayden Taekema before the period was out. In the third period, Revelstoke took the lead with a powerplay goal by Roberts, only to have Sicamous tie it up when Taekema got his second of the night.

That set the stage for Christensen to be the hero as he took a pass from Tye Sanford to give Revelstoke the win with just over a minute left.

On Saturday, Revelstoke took on the North Okanagan Knights, who trailed the Grizzlies by only two points before the contest.

This game Revelstoke jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with goals from Kyle Schwartz, Seyl and Braeden Monk. A shorthanded goal by Brett Hawrys got the Knights on the board before the period was out. Schwartz scored his second of the night early in the second but the Knights were able to battle back to make it 4-3 before the end of the period.

Seyl’s winning goal was as strange as ever. With North Okanagan down by one and on a power play, he harmlessly cleared the puck down the ice. However, just before it reached the net, it took a strange bounce past Knights’ goalie Dustin Nikkel and into the goal. Monk added his second of the night to make it 6-3 and the Knights’ Bryan Koch made it 6-4. “North Okanagan is chasing us in the standings,” said Kraus. “It’s always nice to pick up two points against them.”

This week the Grizzlies have three games. On Wednesday, Nov. 30, they travel to Armstrong for another game against the Knights. On Friday, the Grizzlies take on the lowly Columbia Valley Rockies at the Forum and on Saturday the team travels to Osoyoos to battle the Coyotes – the team that knocked Revelstoke out of the playoffs last year.

Creighton, Donaldson and Hendrickson will return to the lineup on Wednesday. Blinkhorn remains suspended for two more games.