“Compete, battle, work.”
Those are coach Ryan Parent’s priorities after watching his team get badly outplayed by the Osoyoos Coyotes during the Revelstoke Grizzlies season opener at the Forum on Saturday.
Revelstoke lost 5-2 and was outshot 48-17 by Osoyoos in the team’s home opener.
“For me, I don’t think we competed near hard enough today. Undisciplined at times,” said Parent. “I don’t think we had enough confidence with the puck. I think we had guys basically just coughing up the puck a lot.”
The Grizzlies took to the ice with a very young team, with only two 19-year-olds and four returning players in the lineup. They were also short a few players due to some small injuries and an administrative error that resulted in local Ullar Wiatzka being forced to sit out the match. They were outmatched by the older, more experienced Coyotes.
The Coyotes dominated from the start and Grizzlies goaltender Trevor Dilauro was forced to come up big on several occasions, including a huge save on Daniel Stone on a breakaway early on. Revelstoke generated little in the way of pressure and was outshot 16-1 in the period.
Osoyoos finally cracked Dilauro when Carter Shannon fired home a shot from the right circle only 21 seconds into the second period. They scored again 16 seconds later when Carter Robinson capitalized on an odd-man rush.
Revelstoke got back into the game thanks to a string of penalties by the Coyotes. Ryan Pereverzoff got the Grizzlies on the board when he picked up a pass from Michael Lenoury in front of the net and fired it home on the power play at 14:51 of the second.
The tally sparked Revelstoke, who had their best stretch of play in the minutes following the goal. Unfortunately, Osoyoos scored a controversial goal when Colin Bell fired a point shot past Dilauro, who was still getting his footing after being knocked into his net during a goalmouth scramble seconds earlier. And, like before, the Coyotes pounced quickly again, scoring their fourth goal of the game only 18 seconds later.
The goal led to Parent pulling Dilauro from the net, even though he couldn’t truly be faulted for any of the goals. Parent said he was hoping to send a message to his team with the move. “We kind of hung him out there,” he added.
Curtis Belbin got Revelstoke back within two with less than a minute left in the period when he tipped a pass from Pereverzoff over Coyotes goaltender Adam Jones.
The Coyotes completed the scoring when Jackson Glimpel put the puck past Chris Wielenga, who gave up one goal on about 20 shots in relief of Dilauro.
After the game, the talk was all about the Grizzlies competitiveness.
“It’s not the result or effort we wanted coming out of the gate,” said Pereverzoff. “The compete, the battle, the overall intensity in the game wasn’t up to par and it showed.”
Parent did see some positives, notably in the play of the goalies and the ability of the team to capitalize on its few scoring chances, but he said he’ll be urging his players to work harder ahead of next weekend’s road game against Summerland and North Okanagan.
“I think we have to work harder,” he said. “I think one-on-one we got beat a lot today. Hockey’s a game of one-on-ones. They won way more than 50 per cent of them.”