Special to the Review
The Revelstoke Grizzlies closed out their January home-stand last weekend, culminating in a closely contested game on Tuesday (Jan. 24).
In case you missed them, here’s a recap of last week’s action.
Friday: vs Grand Forks Border Bruins
Friday night saw the Grizzlies take on the Grand Forks Border Bruins for the first time in a few years.
The visiting opened the scoring with a great shot from the left side of the key by Jonah Smith, 1-0 Border Bruins.
Before the end of the first period, Bruins forward Russell Kosec fired a shot which ricocheted off Jonah Smith and nestled into the back of the net for his second goal of the evening, putting the away team up 2-0.
Entering the second down by two goals, the Grizzlies came out roaring with back-to-back goals by Carter Bettenson &. David Coyle to tie the contest.
In the third period, Revelstoke forward Logan McLeod scored the all-important go-ahead goal to put the home squad up 3-2.
Then, the emotion of the night reached a boiling point.
In front of the Bruins bench, Grizzlies defender Brandon Gallo got cross checked from behind by Grand Forks Ben Edwards, sending last season’s top defenceman in the KIJHL crashing to the ice. Grizzlies Carter Bettenson & Kaleb West rushed to help their teammate, and Edwards took another shot at Gallo, infuriating the entire Grizzlies bench.
Revelstoke would add a few insurance goals at the end of the game to secure a 5-2 win.
When asked about the incident, Gallo said: “They were targeting me throughout the game. I’ve never played against them, but they all knew my name chirping at me during the night. I couldn’t see what was happening from getting hit and guys coming after me. Carter and Kaleb were trying to protect me they always have my back, it was a good win for the team.”
“We’re feeling good the last 4 games after starting the season struggling a bit,” said Revelstoke defenceman Kaleb West. “We usually are figuring out our systems and then work hard to come together as a team.”
Saturday: vs Chase Heat
The Chase Heat returned to the Forum on Saturday to see if their two game-winning streaks against Revelstoke this season would continue.
Porter Trevelyn broke open the scoring for the home team in the first period, stealing the puck at centre ice and skating in on a semi-break away, launching a perfect wrist shot over the goalie’s glove for the 1-0 lead.
With only 22.7 seconds left in the first period, Grizzlies forward David Coyle doubled the home team lead, 2-0 for Revelstoke. Assists by Kurtis Kinoshita and Will McPhee.
Just 2:32 into the middle period Revelstoke’s Logan McLeod connected on passes from Gage Lajeunesse and Brandon Gallo, releasing a shot from the left point that somehow bounced through the goalie’s pads for a 3-0 Grizzlies lead.
That three-goal cushion would end up being enough, and the Grizzlies wound up with a 5-2 win.
David Coyle has emerged as a star for the Grizzlies over the last stretch of games.
“One reason for this is I’ve just been trying to take more chances and create opportunities for my other teammates,” said Coyle. “As soon as I got here in November, the team made me feel welcome. They’re a great group of guys”.
Tuesday: vs Sicamous Eagles
The Grizzlies continued their busy January home schedule at the Forum with a Tuesday matchup against Sicamous. The Eagles are close behind them in the division, making it was a critical game in the chase for first place in the Doug Birks Division heading into the playoffs.
Just a few minutes into the first period, Grizzlies forward Daniel Wittenburg scored the first goal of the evening, grabbing a loose puck in front of the crease where he fired a wrist shot into the lower left side of the net to put the home team up 1-0.
Five minutes later, Revelstoke’s Kurtis Kinoshita fed the puck to Colton McLeod, skating in from the right side on a fast rush and launching a snapshot into the goal for a 2-0 Grizzlies lead.
In the 2nd and 3rd periods, Sicamous fought hard to get on the score-sheet but could not find the back of the net. Grizzlies goalie Jozef Kuchaslo was outstanding in goal all evening, earning the well-deserved shutout.
The defensive stand-off between the two divisional rivals ended with a home team win, 2-0 in favour of the Revelstoke Grizzlies.