The Revelstoke Grizzlies finished the weekend where they started — stuck in fourth place in the Doug Birks division, well back of third, but well ahead of last spot.
The Grizzlies played the two teams closest to them in the standings. On Saturday, they hosted the last place Sicamous Eagles at the Forum, and on Sunday they were in Chase to play the Heat.
On Saturday, Ryan Pereverzoff and Brady Mende led the Grizzlies to victory, picking up three points each in the team’s 4-2 win over the last place Eagles.
Pereverzoff kicked things off with a goal 5:28 into the game. Ethan Waitzner made it 2-0 Revelstoke with a power play goal seven minutes later.
The Grizzlies maintained their two goal lead through the second period, then broke the game open with two goals 17 seconds apart with around eight minutes to go in the third. Tommy Bodtker scored the first goal, while Kyle Berry followed up with an unassisted effort.
The Eagles spoiled Aidan Doak’s shutout bid with two goals in the final 5.5 minutes, however Revelstoke was able to emerge with a 4-2 victory. Pereverzoff had a goal and two assists, while Mende picked up three assists in the win. Doak made 30 saves in the Grizzlies’ net.
On Sunday, Revelstoke travelled to Chase for a game against the Heat, who beat the Grizzlies twice the previous week.
Tommy Brown opened the scoring for Chase with a power play goal halfway through the second period. The Heat blew the game open in the third, with three goals in a five minute span — one on the power play, one short handed and another at even strength.
The final minutes saw an explosion of goals. Jeff Bochon score twice for the Grizzlies in 24 seconds to make it 4-2, but Logan Mostat responded 39 seconds later to make it 5-2. Ryan Hozjan’s goal only six seconds later got Revelstoke back within two, but that was it for the boys on the road.
The split gives the Grizzlies 25 points in 26 games at the midway point of the season. They sit 11 points back of Chase, with two games in hand, and 10 points up on Sicamous, with four games in hand.
The Grizzlies made a trade last week, sending goalie Michael Lenko and forward Kyle Donaldson to the Spokane Braves for goaltender Trevor Dilauro.
The team plays three times this weekend. On Friday, they host the Kelowna Chiefs at the Forum. On Saturday, the Kamloops Storm visit, while on Sunday the two teams play again in Kamloops.
Saturday’s game is the team’s last home game before Christmas. The team will be holding its annual sock toss. Fans are asked to bring a new pair of socks to throw on the ice when the Grizzlies score. The socks will be donated to the food bank’s Christmas Hamper program.
The Review’s mid-season awards
MVP: Aidan Doak is one of the best goalies in the KIJHL and he gives the Grizzlies a chance to win every game. He’s only played in half the team’s games, but he has a 2.08 GAA and .930 save percentage — both amongst the tops in the league.
Top rookie: After a slow start, 17-year-old Ryan Pereverzoff has emerged as the Grizzlies top offensive threat lately, with 11 points in his last 14 games.
Unsung hero: The Grizzlies strength this season has been their defensive play. Kyle Baron isn’t flashy, but he’s a leader on the back end.