The Revelstoke Grizzlies wanted the win on Wednesday. They needed the win and their coach said they would win.
Instead, they skated off the ice in Kamloops on Wednesday having given up the game winning goal with only seven seconds left, spoiling what was otherwise a strong road effort against a team they’re chasing in the standings.
The Grizzlies now have two weeks to get over the heartbreak before they return to the ice after Christmas.
Revelstoke went into Wednesday’s game 10 points back of the Kamloops Storm and looking to make up ground. Tyler Chavez Leech put Revelstoke ahead with a power play goal with a little more than two minutes left in the first period — his 16th goal in only 19 games.
Revelstoke clung to their lead through the second period and most of the third, but Kamloops was finally able to tie the score with 5:35 left in the period when Nate Pelletier found the back of the net behind Grizzlies’ goaltender Giovanni Sambrielaz.
Then, with only seven seconds left, Mitch Friesen scored the game winner, giving Kamloops a narrow 2-1 win.
Sambrielaz stopped 24 of 26 shots for Revelstoke, while Jason Sandhu did him one better in the Kamloops net, stopping 25 of 26 shots.
The Grizzlies’ players are now home for the holidays. They return to Revelstoke after Christmas and their next game is in Sicamous on Friday, Dec. 30.
The next night, Revelstoke plays host to the second annual New Year’s Eve game when they host the Kelowna Chiefs at the Forum. The game promises to be a raucous affair.
They go into the break stuck in fourth place in the Doug Birks division with an 11-15-0-1 record. They sit nine points behind 100 Mile House, who are in third, and nine points up on last-place Sicamous, with three games in hand.