The Revelstoke Forum erupted as Brandon Gallo netted the overtime winner to give the Grizzlies a hard-fought win on Dec. 4. (Matt Timmins)

The Revelstoke Forum erupted as Brandon Gallo netted the overtime winner to give the Grizzlies a hard-fought win on Dec. 4. (Matt Timmins)

Revelstoke Grizzlies handed first loss at the Forum this season

Grizzlies played the Kelowna Chiefs on New Years Eve in Revelstoke

Andy Siegel

Special to the Review

Despite 50 per cent capacity with brutally cold New Years’ Eve temperatures outside, an extremely loud and vibrant home crowd greeted the Grizzlies for their first game back after the holiday break. You could tell the team had fresh legs skating very fast and hard in the first five minutes.

The visiting Kelowna squad weathered the initial storm by Revelstoke on several excellent scoring chances keeping it 0-0 down in the shots category.

At 12:46 the Grizzlies were awarded a four-minute power-play, courtesy of a penalty call to Kelowna’s Carter White for kneeing. Unfortunately, they could not capitalize.

About 12 minutes into the game, Brandon Gallo woke up the restless home crowd with an outstanding old-school style check right at the whistle knocking the Storm player off his feet.

With four minutes left in the opening period, Revelstoke seemed to be in complete control of the game, but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. A barrage of shots with three minutes left resulted in no goals for the home team, frustrating for all the effort they put in.

As usual, the Grizzlies dominated the scoring chances up 15-5 on shots at the end of the 1st period.

Revelstoke was leading on shots 21-9 in the middle of the 2nd when Kelowna got the well-deserved break they were looking for. At 7:28 James Hooton fed the puck to Nick Morin who scored on a tip-in right in front of the net.

This was a turning point in the game.

A few minutes later at 12:49, Revelstoke responded. Their first goal of the night came from a penalty shot when Ronin Pusch got his 3rd goal of the year on a beautiful deke faking out the Chiefs net-minder.

On a rare occurrence, the Grizzlies were awarded another penalty shot at 17:29 but Captain Cole Berg could not find the back of the net.

Shots after the second were still almost double for the home team up 28-15.

The visiting Chiefs looked confident starting the third period with an even score. The Grizzlies made a big push to get the lead goal but Kelowna neutralized their effort every time and shut down the home team’s offensive chances allowing only eight shots.

At 7:28 Kelowna’s Levi Lamotte and Brett Joseph connected with James Hooton who scored the key winning goal for the Chiefs.

Hooton added a great long shot into the open empty net at 19:08 securing his #1 star of the game award.

The Revelstoke Grizzlies were handed their first loss at home this season, with the Kelowna Chiefs securing a 3-1 win. The final shots were 36-21 in favour of the Grizzlies.

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