The Revelstoke Grizzlies had a little extra motivation to pull off the win over the Chase Heat on Sunday. Not only did they need the points to keep pace in their division, but it was also Jamie Barisoff’s last game with the team.
“We want the points really bad, but tonight feels a little different with Jaimo leaving,” said captain Devon Hascarl. “We really wanted to win for the kid, he’s been here for so long. We love the kid. It’s sad to see him go.”
Barisoff, who is developmentally disabled, is leaving with his family for Chilliwack. He has been the team’s stick boy for a decade and has always been well loved and respected by the players. He was given a team jersey with his name on the back at the start of the second period.
Coach Darren Naylor said Barisoff gave the players a positive perspective. Even after a big loss, Jaimo, as he was nicknamed, would come in and talk about the good goals they scored.
The Grizzlies’ week got off to a bad start when defenceman Aiden Silzer-Hooker, who put up 14 points in 10 games, demanded a trade.
“He made the decision he doesn’t want to play here so I’m going to try and move him,” said Naylor. “He’s a local guy and it’s disappointing him and his dad made the decision they did. That’s their choice and I’m not going to hold grudges. It’s my job to get the best asset back I can.”
The Grizzlies started their three-game weekend against the North Okanagan Knights at the Revelstoke Forum on Friday.
Matt McDonald, Matt Lucero, Coleton Dawsom, Tre Mason and Kohl Bell scored for Revelstoke, and Aaron Brandoli made 31 saves as the Grizzlies held on for a 5-4 win. Devon Hascarl had three assists and Dawson and Kyler Wilkinson also had multi-point games in the win.
On Saturday, the team was in Kelowna to battle the Chiefs. Once again, they struggled in the first period, giving up five goals, plus a sixth early in the second, on the way to an 8-4 loss.
“We have to learn to show up on the road and be ready for first periods,” said Naylor. “The last few road trips we’ve had, the first periods have killed us.”
PHOTO: Jamie Barisoff with his new Revelstoke Grizzlies jersey.
Matt MacDonald, Hascarl, Mason and Chad Thomas scored for Revelstoke in the loss to Kelowna, who are second overall in the KIJHL.
On Sunday, the Grizzlies returned home to face the Chase Heat. Mason scored three times to lead the Grizzlies to a 5-2 win. Hascarl picked up one goal and two assists and Wilkinson scored an empty netter in the win.
“It feels pretty good,” said Mason following the game. “It’s a home game, definitely a big thing to do it front of the fans, especially Jaimo’s last game.”
The team is now more than a third of the way through the season, and while they are still in last place in their division, Hascarl said the players were getting more serious and tighter as a team.
“Tonight was probably the biggest improvement and we noticed it,” he said. “Guys are starting to feel it and like to win.”
Naylor said the team was hard working and serious about improving. He said the play on the ice was getting better as well.
“We’re starting to get some points. We’re beating some teams.That Kelowna game, if we don’t have that bad first period we could have come out with six points no problem,” he said. “I’m noticing things on the ice – the passing, they’re thought processes, way less mistakes. The guys who are taking penalties don’t play anymore.”
This weekend the Grizzlies make the long drive to Kimberley to play the Dynamiters on Friday, before returning home for a rematch against Chase on Saturday.