The Revelstoke Grizzlies passed the halfway point of the season with a split of two road games on the weekend.
The Grizzlies lost 4-1 to the Kamloops Storm on Friday before beating the North Okanagan Knights by the same score on Saturday.
On Friday, Revelstoke was in Kamloops for a game at the Memorial Arena. The Storm opened the scoring 95 seconds into the game when Nate Pelletier put the puck past Grizzlies’ netminder Chris Wielenga.
Hayden Dick added to Kamloops’ lead with a power play goal with only 27 seconds left in the second period.
Jordan Rae got Revelstoke on the board with a power play marker with 7:50 left in the third, but Kamloops would score twice in the final three minutes, including an empty netter, to skate away with the win.
On Saturday, the Grizzlies took the bus to Armstrong to take on the Knights. Dylan McNeil and Tyler Chavez Leech scored first period goals for the Grizzlies while Jaden Hay netted one for the Knights to make the score 2-1 after the first period.
Jon Vandermolen sparked the Grizzlies with a pair of goals in the second period. First, he scored with help from Chavez Leech, then he added an unassisted power play goal to put Revelstoke up 4-1.
Giovanni Sambrielaz stood strong the rest of the way, stopping all 24 Knights’ shots in the final two periods to lead Revelstoke to the win. He was named the Away Star for his 28 save performance.
The Grizzlies record now sits at 10-13-0-1, good for fourth place in the Doug Birks Division. They’re seven points up on Sicamous, but with four games in hand. Kamloops is eight points ahead of Revelstoke, with two more games played.
The Grizzlies face two tough tests this weekend. On Friday they travel to Kelowna to face the Chiefs (15-9-0-1). On Saturday, they’re at home for a game against the Osoyoos Coyotes (19-5-0-0). Their last game before a two week Christmas break is on Wednesday, Dec. 14, in Kamloops against the Storm.
First half awards
MVP: The Revelstoke Grizzlies defense is their strength, and Michael Lenoury is the heart of the back-end. He plays a physical game, contributes offensively and is the team’s co-captain.
Top Rookie: On a team that struggles to score (only five teams have scored fewer goals than the Grizzlies’ 75), Jon Vandermolen is a bright spot, with eight goals and 10 assists so far this season.
Unsung Hero: Rookie Curtis Belbin has quietly racked up four goals and eight assists in 21 games this season.