The Revelstoke Grizzlies were crowned Cyclone Taylor Cup Champions on April 16 after a hard-fought 4-1 victory over the Kimberley Dynamiters.
After months of preparation and anticipation, the tournament went off smoothly at the Revelstoke Forum.
The Grizzlies are the latest host team to win the tournament and the first since 2018 when the Richmond Sockeyes took home the trophy.
The road to the gold medal game
The Revelstoke Grizzlies were downed 5-1 by the Oceanside Generals in Game 1 of the Cyclone Taylor Cup on April 13.
The Revelstoke Forum was buzzing for the Grizzlies’ debut in the tournament.
Oceanside got off to a hot start with a quick goal from Evan Dyce to put the team from the island ahead 1-0.
Minutes later, the hosts would respond with a goal of their own. Revelstoke forward Brady Schwab found the back of the net from Will McPhee and Luke Aston to send the Grizzlies fans into pandemonium and belt out their first ‘Hey Baby’ of the Cyclone Taylor Cup.
Unfortunately for the home fans, the Oceanside Generals scored a clutch goal with less than a second left in the opening frame through Ethan Hawes to take the 2-1 lead before the break.
It was a tight-checking contest through the second period until Oceanside forward Carter Johnson extended the General’s lead to 3-1.
Oceanside added two goals in the third period to finish the game 5-1.
After a tough first game against the Oceanside Generals, the Revelstoke Grizzlies bounced back with an authoritative win against the Kimberley Dynamiters.
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) champions fell to the Revelstoke Grizzlies 4–1 on April 14, on the second day of the Cyclone Taylor Cup. The Dynamiters won their first game of the tournament with a close game against the Delta Ice Hawks that required an extra frame to split the teams. With their backs against the ropes, the Grizzlies needed a big game on Friday, and the team didn’t disappoint.
The game stayed scoreless for almost half of the first period, but it was Carter Bettenson on an assist from Ethan Mattern that broke the game open.
Later in the period, Mattern would get a goal of his own to double the Grizzlies’ lead at 15:57 on an assist from Kesler Fyfe.
Less than three minutes later, Bettenson doubled his goals for the night to add a third for the Grizzlies on the power-play. The Dynamiters sent Paradis to the box to serve a penalty for too many men on the ice. Bettenson’s goal was assisted by Brady Augot and Brandon Gallo.
Despite the roaring start, the second period brought no goals, but more than half a dozen penalties split between the two teams.
Daniel Wittenberg got his chance early in the third period, expanding the Grizzlies’ lead to 4–0. His goal was assisted by Brady Schwab and Kesler Fyfe, the latter on his second assist of the night.
At 8:49, the Dynamiters got their first and only goal of the night. Campbell Maclean was the scorer, assisted by Cash Regan.
The score reflects the shot tally of the night, as the Grizzlies out-shot the Dynamiters 41–22.
It was a winner-take-all in the Revelstoke Grizzlies’ third game of the Cyclone Taylor Cup against the Delta Ice Hawks.
Carter Bettenson opened the scoring late in the first period to put the home team ahead 1-0.
The Delta Ice Hawks came out of the dressing room to start the second period with purpose. Brayden Sinclair and Alec Scouras scored a pair of quick-fire goals to steal the lead away from the Grizzlies, 2-1 Delta.
Then, with less than a minute left in the second period, Will McPhee scored the game-tying goal to send the crowd wild.
Revelstoke added three goals in the third period to seal the statement 5-2 win over the Ice Hawks.
The game that won the cup
The Forum was buzzing with a sold-out crowd as fans watched in nervous anticipation to see their team hoist the biggest prize in Junior B hockey in B.C.
The Grizzlies opened the scoring in the first period with a power-play goal from Carter Bettenson to get the first ‘Hey Baby’ chant of the night going.
Revelstoke added two more power-play goals in the first period through Will McPhee and Brady Schwab to snatch a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
In the second period, the Dynamiters hit the score-sheet with an Ethan Bloomquist power-play goal.
Then, David Coyle netted yet another power-play goal for the Grizzlies to put the game out of reach.
The score was 4-1 when the final buzzer went off, the home team threw their equipment into the air and the celebrations began at the Revelstoke Forum.
“We all came focused, we all came ready to go tonight, we knew we had a great team over there [Kimberley], we were all dialed in and ready to go,” said Revelstoke goaltender Jozef Kuchaslo after the game in an interview with the KIJHL. “We wanted to prove everyone wrong, we know we came in as the host team, a little bit of an underdog, people doubted us being there. We just wanted to prove to everyone how much it meant to us, how much it meant to the city and how much it meant to each and every guy on our team.”
Revelstoke Grizzlies forward Carter Bettenson was named MVP of the Cyclone Taylor Cup.