It was a packed house high energy spirited crowd for the belated celebration of Australia Day between the Revelstoke Grizzlies who beat the visiting Golden Rockets, 3-2.
The home team dominated the first period opening the scoring at 10:54 by Nathan Cohen-Wallis, assisted by Rider McCallum and Taylor Howard.
About three minutes later McCallum notched his 2nd assist of the evening connecting with Gerrit Lindhout which led to a goal from Jake Huculak.
Just when it looked like the Grizzlies were going to the locker room with a two goal lead, Golden’s Dominic Turner got loose on a breakaway to score unassisted cutting the lead in half.
Shots at the end of the first were 17-10 for the home team.
It was a hard hitting, scoreless second period when one of the fans in the beer garden banged on the glass dislodging a safety strip on a barrier and delaying the game, quieting the crowd.
What appeared to be the third Grizzly goal of the evening was scored on a beautiful shot from the point in the upper right corner, unfortunately it was called ‘no goal’, which was frustrating for fans with no replays available.
Midway through the second Revelstoke’s Alden (Bo) Cornell made a great between-the -legs move rushing up ice, once in the opposing zone he was was stopped by two Golden players, and got a penalty for cross checking on the play. However, Golden was unable to capitalize on the powerplay with only a few shots on net.
At the 6 minute mark Finn Withey rushed up the left side of the ice getting a solid shot but it careened off the back of the net, this was followed up by a hard check at the Grizzlies blue line by defenceman Cornell.
The next goal looked like it could determine the game winner but neither team could put the puck in the net for the first half of the third period.
At 11:45 Branden Kasdorf made a gorgeous feed to the center lane for a great tip that just went wide to the left side of the net.
Midway through the final period shots were 31-22 which was a much lower total than many previous match ups, the defense for both teams were skating extremely well.
Physical play continued at a bit less than seven minutes in the game with a few back and forth hits and shoves resulting in off-setting penalties.
At 5:48 the Rockets got lucky on a giveaway in the Grizzlies zone when Kelowna’s Colton Hutchinson fed the puck to Dante Pietrarca who took it to the net for a quick deke sliding it under Revelstoke’s goalie Drew Palm’s pads to even the score.
With five minutes left the home squad got a chance for redemption on a high sticking penalty to the visitors.
They sealed the win on a great pass combo from Sam Petruch and Kasdorf to Withey when he rifled the puck on a low, hard shot between the goalies legs.
With the Rockets goalie pulled less and than a minute left in the game Golden put together a terrific give and go pass for a hard shot from the slot. Palm made a game-saving play, stopping the shot.
This was a perfect way to cap off the win for him as a pre-celebration of his birthday, which is Jan. 29.