The Revelstoke Grizzlies slump continued heading into the final week of the regular season in the KIJHL.
Revelstoke lost 4-1 to the Kamloops Storm on the road on Friday and 5-2 to the 100 Mile House Wranglers at home on Saturday. The two teams are battling for top spot in the Doug Birks division.
The Grizzlies have now lost four out of five games in February and 10 of their last 13 dating back to January 9. Despite that, coach Ryan Parent didn’t seem hugely worried following Saturday’s loss.
“I think our overall game has to be better. It’s just a process,” he said. “We’ve got (three) games to finish with strong play. In some ways I’m not concerned about the result, but just finishing with strong play.”
Revelstoke was in Kamloops on Friday to face the Storm. After a scoreless first, Aaron Aragon put Revelstoke up 1-0 with a goal 84 seconds into the second period.
The Grizzlies lead was short lived, with Kamloops tying the game while shorthanded only 19 seconds later. They took the lead three minutes after that, then went up 3-1 with a power play goal with 29 seconds left in the period. Their fourth goal was an empty netter with 15 seconds left in the game.
Revelstoke was outshot 44-39 in the game.
On Saturday, the 100 Mile House Wranglers were in Revelstoke. The Grizzlies scored first when Ryan Pereverzoff got a power play goal 3:22 into the first period. The Wranglers tied the game before the midway point of the first, then took the lead on the power play early in the second.
Tommy Bodtker tied the game at 11:42 of the second after his line got a rare power play shift. The goal sparked the Grizzlies, who carried the play for the rest of the period.
Unfortunately, that was it for the Grizzlies. 100 Mile got a goal from Alex Hanson early into the third, then added two more in a 37 second span with less than five minutes to go to skate away with a 5-2 win.
Grizzlies captain Kenny Batke said he was frustrated after the game.
“I feel like we had a good enough chance to win tonight and the bounces just didn’t go our way,” he said. “We’ll just have to regroup this week.”
Parent disagreed when I suggested his team was outplayed by 100 Mile on Saturday.
“I think our level of play through 40 minutes was better. Some things related to hockey are a little to do with luck. I like what I saw,” he said. “I think we were close to having enough scoring to win a game, but when you’re five goals against you’re not going to win.”
Revelstoke has three games left before the playoffs. They host the Chase Heat on Tuesday (after press time), then play a home-and-home against the Sicamous Eagles on the weekend. They finish the regular season at home on Saturday, Feb. 20.
Revelstoke will play either 100 Mile House or Kamloops in the first round. The Grizzlies went 3-4-1 against the Wranglers and 3-5 against the Storm in the regular season.
Parent said he feels they match up against both teams well and has no preference as to who they play.
“We have a group of guys who can get the job done,” he said. “I like our prospects going into the playoffs against either 100 Mile or Kamloops. Either team would be my pick of the litter.”
Batke said he would prefer to play Kamloops, “because it’s less travel.”