Special to the Review
Full capacity fans were welcomed back to the Forum for the first time this season for a crucial two game home stand for the Grizzlies. Included in that packed crowd were a number of Grizzlies’ parents, being welcomed to the forum for ‘Parents Weekend’, a special pair of nights where the parents of the players get a chance to see their sons play live and interact with each other.
It was a fast start to Friday’s contest against the 100 Mile House Wranglers for the first six minutes with a number of hard checks but no scoring.
In the first frame, right off the face of, Jake Wallace fed Stavros Koutsantonis who released a quick shot to the net that surprised everyone on the ice including the 100 Mile House goalie.
At 15:42 Wranglers forward Nathan Bohmer launched a gorgeous wrist shot from the right point to the left side of the goal going into the net just inside the post catching back up Grizzlies goalie Jozef Kuchaslo off guard, tieing the game at 1.
Before the first intermission, a few Revelstoke forwards stormed the net. Jacob Smith passed the puck to Wallace who snapped a beautiful shot to the upper right corner, giving the home squad the lead back.
Shots were 48-13 in favor of the Grizzlies after two.
No scoring until late in the third, when Porter Trevelyan fired in empty net unassisted goal from his own end of the ice to seal the victory for the Grizzlies.
On Saturday night, each player came out on the red carpet with their parents or billet parents, introducing them on the ice. The section of the beer garden behind the visiting penalty box filled with European fans made this event a huge celebration, loudly applauding every player & parent.
The Grizzlies were looking sharp, sporting for their maroon jerseys with white lettering & helmets the first time at home this season against their bitter rivals, the Kamloops Storm.
Midway through the first period, Grizzlies captain Cole Berg made a crunching open ice hit, then received a slight cross check to his face, but there was no call.
As the opening period continued, it was apparent the first place Storm’s skill level was a notch higher than Friday night’s opponent.
With two minutes left in the second period, Grizzlies defenceman Brandon Gallo delivered a great hip check into the beer garden glass that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Gallo avoided getting into an altercation after the check but chirped his irritated opponent on the way back to the bench.
With only seconds left in the second, a large scrap developed in front of the net from a Storm forward somehow grabbing the Grizzlies goalie backplate of his mask. The visiting player threw a few punches with his glove on so it was not a fighting penalty. Somehow, after the referees meeting to discuss, Revekstoke was given a penalty that would toll over to start the final period.
Just 11 seconds into the third on the ensuing power play, the visiting team got the break they were looking for. Kamloops’ leading goal getter Zakery Anderson shot the puck into the back of the net when Grizzlies goalie Weare was on his stomach after scrambling to make a save, putting the Storm up 1-0.
With under two minutes left, it looked like Revekstoke was out of time. Then, with the crowd loudly supporting their last effort, at 17:49 Wallace and Carter Bettenson assisted on one of the biggest goals of the Grizzlies season. Through a crowded crease, the puck somehow bounced over a few Storm players to the left side of the goal where Smith made the game saving play, stuffing it into the net as the crowd erupted into a deafening roar.
Right after, Revelstoke was given a questionable call for tripping, which fortunately, didn’t decide the outcome of the game before overtime.
The home team kept pushing for the win feeding off the energy of their late game tying goal and the crowd cheering. Somehow, with a 2nd overtime looming, Brandon Kasdorf and Wallace made outstanding quick passes, eventually feeding the puck to local fan favorite Gallo. Without hesitation, he released a perfect low cross ice shot to the left side of the net, securing the late come from behind win.
The celebration that ensued after was euphoric, as Gallo skated right into the glass in front of the beer garden, getting mauled by the entire team off the bench.
As usual, Brandon Weare displayed an outstanding effort in net for the home crowd. Gallo was unanimous choice for number one star of the evening with the OT winning goal, but Wallace deserved 2nd star for both his key crucial assists.
With the win, the Grizzlies leap-frogged their opponents for first place in the Doug Birks Division. Their win streak was extended to 10 games in a row, and they have yet to lose a game at the Revelstoke Forum this season.
READ MORE: Trevelyn nets overtime winner to beat Kamloops
READ MORE: Full house: Revelstoke Forum back to full capacity
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