Special to the Review
The Grizzlies won two games over the weekend.
On Friday, they played the Kelowna Chiefs and won 5:3. Since there’s no rest for the weary, Revelstoke played the next day against Chase Heat and won 8:2.
It was an exceptionally rowdy loud beer garden crowd for the start of the home game against the Kelowna Chiefs. Most teams this season appear to have bigger players than Revelstoke but the Grizzlies usually compensate for their lack of size by hitting harder and out skating the visiting squad. This evening that pattern continued with the home team coming out of the locker room with a lot of on ice energy.
The first period was a fast back and forth battle between the two teams that ended scoreless. As usual the Grizzlies were ahead on the shots with a larger margin than their opponents.
The second period was more of the same play until almost midway through the period when the Chiefs’ Ryan Antonakis was able to break the tie by sliding in the puck from inside the key. Revelstoke stormed back with a number of quality rushes to try and even the score but came up short.
One area the Grizzlies seem to excel is on one timer shots off passes and rebounds which they did a number of times in the first two periods without success scoring. Later in the second period, Kelowna made a rush up the left side of the ice by Zane Avery, he held the puck till the last second approaching the side of the net making a quick pass inside a Grizzly defense man stick to the Chiefs Kayson Gallant on the right side one timing it into the corner for one of the sweetest goals I’ve seen all season.
Roughly five minutes into the third period on a fast rush up the right side of the ice Grizzlies Carter Anderson got the goal Revelstoke needed so badly to slice the Chiefs lead in half. The Grizzlies persistence with their quick one timer shots paid off it was an amazing goal. With five minutes left in the game Revelstoke got a terrible call from the ref on a tripping penalty which Kelowna’s Jake Petrie capitalized on with a great goal from a one timer shot of their own 30 seconds into the power play.
Revelstoke showed an amazing amount of mental toughness not getting rattled going down a goal with so little time left when they stormed back 90 seconds later somehow slamming the puck into the net on a forceful goal by Jake Huculak assisted from Dalton Irvine and Cash Sawchyn sending the arena into a frenzy. With the Chiefs goalie pulled from the net and 20 seconds left in the game the Grizzlies put icing on the cake with an unassisted semi breakaway open net goal by Nathan Cohen-Wallis.
This was an incredible come from behind character win that represents what this Grizzlies team is all about with their never give up attitude which is one reason they are having such a successful season sitting at first place in the Okanagan / Shuswap Conference. A victory like this could really help build this teams confidence to help propel them into the playoffs for another great run at a title like they did in 2019.
The next night, Revelstoke played Chase.
The first period was fast paced and Revelstoke wasted no time jumping to a one goal lead. Shortly after the Grizzlies doubled their lead when Rider McCallum found the back of the net.
Soon, Chase got on the scoreboard when Cameron McKenzie scored to cut the lead in half, just about about a minute later Revelstoke responded with a goal of their own from Nathan Cohen-Wallis.
The first part of the second period was scoreless. Then close to the midway point after a few solid shots from the visitors Revelstoke’s Sam Petruch rushed up ice finding the back of the net on feeds from Cody Flann and Dalton Irvine. It looking like the Heat goalie made a quick glove save but the puck rolled in somehow.
Shortly after the Grizzlies kept the pressure on notching their fifth goal of the evening on a beautiful shot to the upper right corner by Cash Sawchyn. Chase could feel the game slipping away so they really put the pressure on to get the next goal which they did on a power play.
Shots were 21-22 Chase with 8:30 left in the 2nd which was unusual this season, I can’t remember the last time seeing Revelstoke behind in this department.
In the third period the Grizzlies kept the pressure on for a power play which was the result of a scrum in the corner after a Chase player cross checked a Revelstoke forward who was down on the ice.
Finn Withey came to his line mates defense trying to get a few punches in but was restrained by both linesmen who always do a great job for our home games. Stretching the lead to 6-2 was a fantastic rebound on the right side of the net from Brandon Kasdorf who’s recent outstanding play was recognized getting top honor in the KI last week for 11 points in three games, teammate Matt Cadden was acknowledged as well earning second star in the KI. Assists on Kasdorf’s goal went to Cadden and Jake Petrie.
It was good to see the Grizzlies not sitting on their lead keeping up the intensity regaining the shot clock advantage 32-27 with 3 minutes left, one player I noticed skating back hard on defense and finishing his checks was #81 Kole Christensson. At 2:36 left Matt Cadden scored on a dribble in rebound. At 1:20 to put salt on the wound for the visitors Revelstoke’s Cole Berg rifled a hard shot to the lower right corner.
The Grizzlies are in the lead for Doug Birks Division of the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference. They’ve played 42 games and have only lost five.