After a weekend in which the Revelstoke Grizzlies lost both its games, you might think coach Kevin Kraus would have some harsh words for his players in a closed locker room.
Instead, it was just the opposite. “I thought that was one of our most complete games we played all year,” he said following a 2-1 loss to the Sicamous Eagles at home on Saturday night. “The bounces weren’t on our side tonight.”
The Grizzlies started their weekend with a 6-2 loss to the North Okanagan Knights in Armstrong. What started out as a promising game for the Grizzlies – they held leads twice in the first period thanks to goals from Devon Hascarl and Brayden Beckley – turned into a rout when the Knights scored three goals in the second period.
That, combined with a 49-save performance by Knights’ goaltender Dustin Nikkel lead to the loss. “Every chance they got to score they put in the back of our net,” said Kraus. “A couple bad bounces went their way. They capitalized on them and we didn’t capitalize on our chances.”
On Saturday the Grizzlies took on the Eagles for the third time this season (fifth time if you count the pre-season). The teams traded goals in the first period, with Dylan Ossman scoring for Revelstoke and Nicholas Astasiewicz for Sicamous.
After that, it was a goaltending battle. Revelstoke’s Aaron Brandoli stopped 29 of 30 shots in the final two periods, beat only by a deflection by Brendan Devries in the third. He was outdone by his counterpart Jack Surgenor, who turned away all 35 Revelstoke shots to give Sicamous a 2-1 win.
The losses dropped the Grizzlies to third place in the competitive Doug Birks division. This weekend they play a home-and-home series against the Chase Heat before heading to Sicamous on Sunday. The Saturday game is at home at 7 p.m. All three games are expected to be battles. “I think our division from first to fifth is pretty damn good,” said Kraus.