The Revelstoke Grizzlies picked up their first points of the regular season with a win and a double-overtime loss against the Sicamous Eagles last weekend.
“I think the last four games we’re starting to come together and now we’re starting to get some points,” said coach Darren Naylor before the game. “We got three of four points and this game could have gone either way.”
The weekend started Friday with the teams in Sicamous for what turned out to be a goalie battle. Neither team could score through the first two periods as Aaron Brandoli turned away 35 shots in the Grizzlies net and his counterpart stopped 38 shots for the Eagles.
The third period started with a flurry of action. Revelstoke got on the board first, at 19:08 when Kyler Wilkerson scored with help from line-mates Devon Hascarl and Kohl Bell. Less than two minutes later Hascarl to put the Grizzlies up 2-0, with assists to defensemen Tre Mason and Aiden Silzer-Hooker, who made his return to the lineup after an early-season shoulder injury.
Then, 64 seconds later, Tyler Ehlers scored for Sicamous scored to make it 2-1. The Grizzlies lead would hold up and Revelstoke got its first win of the season.
Saturday’s game was a thriller that ended in a 5-4 victory in double-overtime for the Eagles at the Forum.
Sicamous opened the scoring with six seconds left in the first when Tyson Fair got one past Brandoli. Ehlers made it 2-0 for the Eagles at 17:02 of the second with an unassisted effort.
Hascarl erased the deficit with two goals in 57 near the midway point of the period. He got his first goal on the power play at 12:58 and followed it up with a beautiful individual effort to tie the game. Bell then gave Revelstoke the lead with 1:48 left in the period with his first ever KIJHL goal.
In the third period, Nathan Grieve scored twice for Sicamous to pull his team in front. First, he fired a snap shot over Brandoli’s blocker, then he got an easy tap in on a power play with 7:35 left in the period.
Silzer-Hooker tied the game with 4:23 left in the game with a one-timer on a pass from Bell. Hascarl picked up an assist for his fourth point of the game.
Overtime was a thriller, with both teams trading chances. The first five-minute period of 4-on-4 solved nothing, sending the game to five minutes of 3-on-3. In the second OT, Sicamous had the edge, nearly ending the game several times. Finally, with 37 seconds left, Hayden Orton broke in on a breakaway and beat Brandoli with a snap shot to give Sicamous the 4-3 win.
“That was one hell of a hockey game tonight,” said Naylor afterwards. “We might not have got two but I’ll take three out of four right now.”
He praised the line of Hascarl, Wilkerson and Bell, who were in on every Revelstoke goal over the weekend.
“It’s a good line and what we need now is to get some secondary scoring big time,” said Naylor. “We need to get some guys chipping in. We can’t just be a one line time.”
Naylor made a few moves over the week, trading the rights to veteran forward TJ Christensen in exchanged for 6’5” rookie forward Ravinder Shokar. He also acquired forward Coleton Dawson from the Columbia Valley Rockies.
His next moves will be to improve the defense, saying he was looking for some veteran players who could add poise to the back end. “We have to stabilize that blue line,” he said. “I want to get a couple veteran guys back there.”
This weekend the Grizzlies host the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Friday and then head to Kamloops to face the Storm on Saturday. Kamloops beat Revelstoke 4-1 in the teams’ season opener.