After five games at the Forum, the Revelstoke Grizzlies suffered their first home loss of the season to the North Okanagan Knights.
Fresh off a 4-1 win against the Okanagan Division-leading Summerland Steam, the Knights dispatched the Grizzlies 3-0.
North Okanagan coach Bryant Perrier called the victory a “huge win” for his team, which is 5-11-1-3 and sits last in its division.
“We came off a huge win last night beating the first-place Summerland team in our building. They’re a very difficult team and we did it decisively,” he said. “Then we came on the road here. It’s difficult building. Revelstoke is very good. Very well prepared, well coached and we were really proud of how our group handled the adversity and we battled through it.”
The game started off slow, with no goals in the first 20 minutes.
North Okanagan’s Brady Marzocco got on the board first, with 9:29 remaining in the second period.
With 2:08 left in the second frame, Alec McLeod scored an insurance goal to make it 2-0 heading into the third.
The Grizzlies were playing the second of back-to-back games at home.
On Friday night, they faced the 100 Mile Wranglers and tied it 2-2 after two overtime periods.
Friday night’s game was full of penalties and saw 10 players receive misconducts. Revelstoke’s two goals on Friday night were power play goals scored by Dylan McNeil and Josh Irvine.
Saturday night, Revelstoke’s sticks were unusually silent.
Grizzlies coach Ryan Parent said the team “failed to capitalize on some offensive chances.”
They outshot the Knights 37-29, but couldn’t find the net against rookie goalie Zach Willms, who recorded his first career KIJHL shutout.
“Other parts of our game were sufficient today,” said Parent following the game. “In the offensive zone, where we spent a lot of time today, we have to work in a different direction if we’re going to beat good goaltenders.
“I think in some ways we wanted that easy fancy play and I think we’re going to have to get more gritty there and bury some of the chances that we’ve had.”
The Knights’ Jason Shaigec scored the team’s last goal of the game with 5:39 remaining.
“This win was a team effort,” said Perrier, “and it’s 20 guys deep.”
The Knights took Sunday off and next face the Summerland Steam Tuesday for a rematch.
Following the weekend’s games, Revelstoke (11-4-1-1) drops to number two in the Doug Birks Division, losing the number one spot to the Chase Heat (13-8-0-0).
The Grizzlies will use this week to regroup and face the Princeton Posse (9-6-1-3) Friday night in Princeton.
Their next home game is Friday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. against the 100 Mile Wranglers (10-6-3-0).