The Revelstoke Grizzlies came out flat in the first period versus the Sicamous Eagles, digging themselves a five-goal hole in the first 20 minutes. The first period Grizzlies flop was a repeat of game one of the best-of-seven playoff series.
Brayden Taekema had two goals for the Sicamous Eagles in the first, while Connor Fynn, Matt Reed and Stewart Coyle netted one each.
The Grizzlies’ dismal first period lasted for 19 seconds into the second, when Brendan Devries made it six unanswered goals for the Eagles.
The Grizzlies soon picked it up and put together their best period of hockey so far in the series.
Tye Sanford put the Grizzlies on the board at 3:08 of the second, assisted by Tyler Reay. The goal gave the approximately 360 spectators something to cheer about.
The Grizzlies continued to build momentum as the period progressed, pouring in shots, including lots of near misses from in close.
Braeden Monk just missed a rebound attempt from close in a moment before a high-stick from Eagles’ Brad Crump caught Monk in the face, earning the Grizzlies a four-minute advantage.
Marc Letourneau converted the penalty after he put a rebound in at 12:35.
The crowd responded to the goal, and were rewarded under a minute later when Austin Donaldson scored, assisted by Michael Roberts and Marc Letourneau.
Donaldson was again assisted by Michael Roberts with just 55 seconds left, putting the Grizzlies within two.
The Eagles didn’t get many quality chances in the second; their two-goal lead looked tenuous.
Kyle Schwartz scored for Revelstoke at 14:55 of the third to bring it within one.
But the Grizzlies had difficulty continuing their momentum in the third against a regrouped Eagles team with a new strategy.
The Eagles pressured the puck carrier early, and stepped up the physical play considerably, following their checks through. The Grizzlies had trouble moving the puck forward and putting passing plays together.
Both teams had good chances through the third, but the Grizzlies couldn’t convert another one to pull beside Sicamous.
Two late Sicamous empty-net goals padded out the score to an 8-5 final.
Games three and four are on Monday and Tuesday nights in Sicamous. Game five is scheduled for Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Revelstoke Forum.