It looked to be a turning point in the season. A sign that the Revelstoke Grizzlies, mired near the bottom of the league, were about to get their season back on the track. They beat the Kimberley Dynamiters, one of the KIJHL’s top teams, 5-4 on Thursday in what was easily the team’s best game of the season.
And then hit the road and got thumped 6-0 by the Princeton Posse and 7-3 by the Osoyoos Coyotes.
Thursday’s game appeared to be a mismatch with the Grizzlies – second to last overall – taking on the Dynamiters, who were in fourth place overall.
Brodie Buhler got Revelstoke on the board 89 seconds into the game with a somewhat lucky goal that bounced up and over Kimberley goaltender Jeremy Mousseau.
The score stayed 1-0 when Jason Richter scored a power play goal for Kimberley after a scramble in front of Aaron Brandoli to tie the game.
Revelstoke got a chance to go ahead when it received a 5-on-3 late in the second period. The game appeared to be headed into the intermission even, but Aiden Silzer-Hooker wound up with a blistering slapshot to beat Mousseau and the buzzer and give Revelstoke a 2-1 lead.
Revelstoke carried the momentum into the third period, with Silzer-Hooker scoring his second power play goal of the game, and Jeremy McGregor, a recent acquisition from Grand Forks, scoring his first as a Grizzly to make it 4-1.
Revelstoke appeared to be cruising towards a win when they got into penalty trouble. Buhler was in the box when Andrew Stack scored for Kimberley to make it 4-2, and Kent Hendrickson was in the box when Jared Marchi got the Dynamiters within one. The Grizzlies killed off a four minute penalty but Tyson Klingspohn scored for Kimberley to even the game not long after the penalty was over.
That left it for Silzer-Hooker to play the hero, scoring his third power play goal of the game on a point shot right off a faceoff to put Revelstoke ahead. The Grizzlies would hang on for a 5-4 win.
On Friday the team hit the road to play the Princeton Posse, who were mired in the basement of the Okanagan Division.
Eden Dubchak opened the scoring for Princeton with a short-handed goal at 13:08 of the first period. Eric Kubis made it 2-0 with a power play goal at 14:31 of the second. Dalton Dubetz gave the Posse a 3-0 lead when he scored with six minutes left in the period.
Princeton added three more goals in the third, with Kurtis Coburn scoring 82 seconds in the period, and Devan Suidy and Eric Schmidt adding power play goals to cap off the 6-0 win.
Aaron Brandoli was given the night off in favour of Bryson Mckinnon, who had a rough game, only stopping 22 or 28 shots in the 6-0 loss.
On Saturday, Revelstoke travelled southeast on highway three to face the Osoyoos Coyotes. Devon Hascarl got the Grizzlies on the board first at 17:11 of the first, but Colin Chmelka evened it up with a power play goal with 8:45 to go in the frame.
Hascarl restored Revelstoke’s lead about eight minutes into the second with his second in the night, but Chmelka’s second power play goal nullified that advantage. Cameron Dobransky then gave Osoyoo a 3-2 lead at 8:18 of the second, before a flurry of goals in the final two minutes of the period. First, Tre Mason scored a shorthanded goal for Revelstoke, but Jackson DeMatos recorded a power play goal and Michael Crawford made it 5-3 Coyotes with 31 second left.
Osoyoos extended their lead when Aaron Azevedo scored 30 seconds into the third. Chmelka sealed the win with Osoyoos’ fourth power play goal of the game with 1:38 left.
The two losses leaves Revelstoke with 10 points and in last place in the Doug Birks division, four points back of Sicamous and 100 Mile House for third, and six back of Chase for second. Only Kamloops, with 26 points, appears out of reach for the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies have another three games this weekend. On Friday, they host the North Okanagan Knights at the Forum. On Saturday, the team is Kelowna to battle the Chiefs. On Sunday, they return home to face the Chase Heat in a 5 p.m. matinee game.