The Grizzlies celebrate during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

PHOTOS: Grizzlies book ticket to KIJHL Finals

Revelstoke eliminates Osoyoos Coyotes with convincing Game 7 win

Revelstoke Grizzlies captain Tommy Bodtker has always dreamed about competing in the KIJHL Finals.

That dream is finally coming true for the speedy 19-year-old forward.

On March 25, the Revelstoke Grizzlies hosted the Osoyoos Coyotes for Game 7 of the Okanagan/ Shuswap Conference Final series. The Grizzlies beat the visitors 4-1, eliminating them from the post-season.

“I’m honoured,” said Bodtker of qualifying Monday morning before setting off for a brief respite in Kelowna.

The Grizzlies have a few days off before starting the battle for the KIJHL title on Thursday in Kimberley.

They’ll be facing the Kimberley Dynamiters, who finished first in the regular season and have home ice advantage.

The last time the Grizzlies played at the Kimberley Civic Centre was in 2015. The only current Grizzlies to play then were Bodtker, Ullar Wiatzka and Ryan Pereverzoff.

Bodtker said the rink is large with old, tough boards and that the Kimberley fans come out in hoardes.

“It’ll be tough,” he said of the upcoming series, but he’s honoured to be there.

The Revelstoke coaching staff are already at work preparing for the series.

“We’ve started to pour through the video,” said Parent, who is preparing to coach his first-ever KIJHL Final. “We’ll prepare.”

He came on with the Grizzlies in 2014. The last time the Grizzlies were in the final was 2010, when they won the league championship. They won the title once before that in 1998.

On Sunday night, many of the Grizzlies were preparing for what was the biggest game of their careers. Twelve on the playoff roster are rookies in the KIJHL.

The Grizzlies came on strong, controlling play through most of the first period.

At 14:14, Josh Irvine skated towards the Osoyoos net and passed the puck to Jordan Robertson, who slotted it past Coyote goaltender Daniel Paul.

The standing-room only Forum erupted.

“That was the loudest I’ve heard the Forum,” said Bodtker. “It really put us off on the right foot.”

About 10 minutes later, Ryan Pereverzoff took off on a breakaway and scored.

Twenty-two seconds later, Cody Flann scored again, to put the Grizzlies up 3-0 in the first period.

The Coyotes came out for the second period with more energy in their skating and were able to get a goal at 17:25. After their celebration and further talk among the officials, the goal was called off, Coyote defenceman Jackson Barrett was ejected and the score remained 3-0 in favour of the Grizzlies.

With under four minutes to go in the second period, Bodtker got a breakaway, but was foiled before taking his shot. The officials awarded him a penalty shot. He was unsuccessful.

At the end of the period, with David Lenzin serving two minutes for a tripping call, the Coyotes scored with 27 seconds remaining to get on the board 3-1.

Early in the third period, Wiatzka intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and took off for the Coyote net with Matt Cadden. Wiatzka passed to Cadden who scored to give the Grizzlies a bigger lead 4-1.

As the dying minutes of the game progressed, the Grizzlies surpressed little smiles in between play.

When the buzzer went off, goalie Giovanni Sambrielaz raised his arms in celebration. He was soon tackled in a hug by Nii Noi Tetteh and the rest of the team piled on.

“I think our guys are ecstatic to get the win,” said Parent. “It was a really good, gutsy team effort.”

Bodtker had a permanent smile.

“It was probably the happiest room we’ve had all year,” he said of the dressing room atmosphere Sunday night.

While the Grizzlies will savour the win, their attention has already turned to the next challenge.

“At this point, all our energy will be focused on the final series,” said Parent.

The series will start out in Kimberley on March 30 and 31, before coming to Revelstoke on April 2 and 3.

From there, the series hops between Kimberley and Revelstoke for Games 5 (April 5, Kimberley), 6 (Revelstoke, April 6) and 7 (April 8, Kimberley), if needed.


 

@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@revelstokereview.com

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Jordan Robertson scores the Grizzlies’ first goal during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

The Grizzlies celebrate their first goal during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Revelstoke’s Jacob Bourchier gets shoved during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Ryan Pereverzoff scores Revelstoke’s second goal on a breakaway in the first period during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. They will meet the Kimberley Dynamiters in the finals series, which is expected to start later this week. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Ryan Bedard works in front of the Coyotes net during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Joel Scrimbit clears the puck during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Jordan Rea and Tommy Bodtker fight for the puck during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Giovanni Sambrielaz pokes away the puck during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Matt Cadden scores during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review) Matt Cadden scores during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Fans react during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Matt Cadden battles with an Osoyoos player during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Ryan Pereverzoff gets taken out during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

Harley Bootsma during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

The Grizzlies celebrate during Game 7 Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Final KIJHL playoff action. The Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 in Revelstoke on March 25, 2018 to advance to the KIJHL Final. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

The Grizzlies pose with the KIJHL Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Title banner. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)

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