The Revelstoke Grizzlies emerged from the Christmas break on a winning note, beating the Sicamous Eagles and Spokane Braves before falling to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks
The Grizzlies started the weekend with a 4-3 win over the rival Sicamous Eagles in front of a season-high 480 fans at the Forum on Friday.
Darnel St. Pierre, Dallas Flockhart and Brayden Beckley scored in the first period to give Revelstoke an early 3-0 lead. Michael Bell and Brendan Devries responded for Sicamous in the second, making it a one-goal game going into the third.
That’s when Austin Donaldson scored one of the nicest goals of the season for the Grizzlies. With the Grizzlies short handed, he managed to get in on a partial breakaway. The Sicamous defense got up, but Donaldson spun around and roofed a backhander past a shocked Sicamous goaltender.
“It was a very good individual goal,” said coach Kevin Kraus. “He showed some very good patience with the puck and showed some skill. Good on him. It would be nice if I could see that more often.”
Brayden Taekema would score for the Eagles to make it 4-3 but that was as close as they would get. Aaron Brandoli made 39 saves in the Revelstoke net for the win.
“Coming off the break, I brought my kids back early and made sure we had a good week of practice before the weekend,” said Kraus. “I know coming back off breaks there’s still a bit of turkey in the system still. We had a hard week of battle practices and made sure we played physical against Sicamous because they have a very skilled team.
“We just worked on that and made sure we were prepared to battle.”
On Saturday, the Grizzlies travelled south of the border to Spokane to take on the Braves. Beckley and Dylan Ossman both scored twice, and Donaldson and Tyler Reay added goals in a 6-4 Revelstoke win.
With Brandoli being rested and backup Conrad Macmillan unable to enter the United States, AP goalie Harison Whitlock got the start, turning aside 40 saves for the win.
On Sunday, the long weekend continued in Beaver Valley, where Revelstoke – with three players injured – emerged at the wrong end of a 8-2 shellacking. TJ Christensen and Jordan Holloway scored for Revelstoke in the loss.
“We were short manned and we were tired and it showed in the score for sure,” said Kraus. “Beaver Valley seemed to be hitting on all cylinders.”
The trade deadline is this Thursday, Jan. 10, and Kraus said he is looking to make a move to bolster the forward group, particularly after losing leading goal scorer Spencer Samuel and veteran forward Devon Hascarl. “I would like to add a forward with losing Samuel and Hascarl, but everyone is looking for a top six forward, so it’s kind of tough,” he said.
He did make one move last week, acquiring local defenseman Aiden Silzer-Hooker from the Chase Heat.
“Getting Aiden gives us more depth on the back end,” said Kraus. “He’s young, he can still play here for another three years after this season so it was also a move for the future.”
Silzer-Hooker picked up an assist against Beaver Valley for his first point as a Grizzly.
This weekend the Grizzlies host the Eagles on Friday and the North Okanagan Knights on Saturday. Kraus said the team will have to crack down defensively to win.
“The last times we’ve played these two teams, we’ve beat them,” he said. “They’re going to come into our rink hungry so our guys need to be ready to play well and play good defense.”