The Revelstoke Grizzlies showed almost no signs of rust, winning both its games in the team’s first weekend action back following a nearly-three week break.
“We had a good week of practice and worked very hard,” said coach Randy Quakenbush following Sunday’s game. “That showed in our performances all weekend. It showed we were in good shape and stayed in good shape.”
The Grizzlies toppled the Sicamous Eagles 5-3 on Sunday in Sicamous and then whalloped the Kimberley Dynamiters 13-3 Sunday afternoon in Revelstoke.
On Saturday, the Grizzlies got off to a flying start, with Marc Letourneau scoring three minutes in and the team coming out of the period with a 5-1 lead.
Sicamous scored twice in the second period but 5-3 was as close they would come as goaltender Ethan Wood made 11 saves in the third to seal the victory.
Letourneau led the way offensively, scoring two goals and two assists, including the game winner. Jordan Bledsoe and Riley Spraggs picked a goal and two assists each and Michael Roberts also scored for Revelstoke.
On Sunday, Revelstoke returned home to take on the Kimberley Dynamiters, one of the top teams in the league. What was expected to be a fierce matchup ended up in a 13-3 blow out as the Grizzlies used their speed to feast on a tired Dynamiters team that was playing its third road game in three days.
“We saw this game as a real challenge playing a top team from the other conference,” said Quakenbush. “It was a milestone game for us.”
He did admit that Kimberley seemed tired after its three-game road trip.
Cole Sanford was the top offensive performer, recording a hat trick and one assist. Roberts scored twice and had three assists, and Mark Schwartz and Spraggs each scored two goals and two assists in the win.
The game was also marked by three fights. In the first period, Bledsoe took on Jordan Bartusek. Later, local Riley Creighton took down Kimberley’s Brett Luker and in the third period T.J. Christiansen scored a victory over goon Olli Dickson.
When asked about the fights, Quakenbush said he always worried about players getting hurt but his bigger concern was injuries coming from errant sticks.
This weekend the Grizzlies hit the road for a three game stint against the Fernie Ghostriders, Kimberley Dynamites and Creston Thunder Cats. “It’s a chance for the guys to have fun, cut loose and be away from home,” said Quakenbush. “It’s a great chemistry thing.”
The game against Fernie, who are third overall in the KIJHL, will see the Grizzlies take on former teammate Brendan Burge for the first time since he was traded.
“It will be another benchmark game for us,” Quakenbush said.
He also expects the rematch against Kimberley to be a much closer game this time.
Going into the final third of the season, Revelstoke sits in second place in the Doug Birks division, five points behind the Kamloops Storm but with three games in hand.
Starting on Friday, the team enters a stretch of nine games in 15 days, including six in a row at home. The next home game is against the North Okanagan Knights on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.