The Revelstoke Grizzlies will be looking to end a four game losing streak when they head to Invermere on Friday.
Revelstoke lost 4-2 to the Sicamous Eagles at home on Friday, and then lost twice in a row to the 100 Mile House Wranglers, falling 8-3 on Saturday and 6-5 in overtime on Sunday.
“We have to work defensively – we’re giving up too many goals,” said coach Darren Naylor Sunday evening. “That’s just not a defensive stat. A lot of times the forwards aren’t putting pucks in deep and are leaving pucks in the neutral zone so the turnovers are crazy and they’re getting 3-on-2s all night.
“In order for us to succeed we have to be a team that plays 3-2, 2-1 games,” he continued. “We wasted one today. We scored five but we gave up six. The balance was off.”
On Friday, Brady Crabtree scored for Sicamous 71 seconds in the game, capitalizing on a Grizzlies turnover, and Revelstoke was never able to truly grab any momentum afterwards. Devon Hascarl tied the game with a power play not long after, but Sicamous scored one in the second and twice late in the third en route to a 4-2 win. Kent Hendrickson scored Revelstoke’s second goal with 2:47 to go in the game.
“We start the game on Friday, the first line goes out and has a great shift, a great way to start a hockey game,” said Naylor. “Then the second line comes out, we’ve got a guy who’s been in the league three years make a mistake that shouldn’t be made by a guy with that type of experience and it’s in the back of the net. All the momentum we generate is gone and it went downhill from there.”
On Saturday, 16-year-old backup goalie Jaxon Nohr was given his first KIJHL start and it’s one he’d probably like to take over. The 100 Mile House Wranglers scored three times in the first and three more in the second before Tre Mason finally got Revelstoke on the board. Hascarl and Matt MacDonald scored for the Grizzlies in the third period, but the Wranglers added two more goals for an 8-3 win.
Naylor didn’t fault Nohr, who faced 45 shots, for the loss.
“The team didn’t show up in front of him,” Naylor said. “It’s a pretty intimidating rink to play in. They probably had 700 fans in there and the momentum, once they scored early, it just kept going and going.”
On Sunday, the Grizzlies got their only point in a 6-5 OT loss. MacDonald scored twice in the third period, and Riley Creighton, Monty Chisholm and Hascarl also scored for the Grizzlies, but the team’s best offensive output of the season was spoiled when Robert Orrey scored the game winner for 100 Mile 44 seconds into OT.
This weekend Revelstoke plays the Columbia Valley Rockies in Invermere on Friday and then returns home to play the Golden Rockets on Saturday.
Naylor said he will continue to make changes to the lineup to bolster both the offence and defence.
“This is a rebuild in motion. There was nothing done in the off season with this team. I’ve had one month to put together this,” he said. “We’re only going to get better, the potential is there. We’re not that bad, we’re competing.
“The games are going to go either way, we just have to start getting on the right end of them. I think that’s going to come with the talent upgrade we’re undergoing right now.
“10 games for me is the cutoff time and now I’m going to move guys out and bring some skilled guys that are becoming available.”