Hit, hack and whack was the overall theme on the hockey front for the past weekend.
In a change from the usual high-energy fast and skilled game that is the norm, the Heat adjusted to a grittier style versus two Okanagan foes.
Versus the Summerland Steam on Friday the 17th, the fans were entertained at the Art Holding Memorial Arena with a hot and steamy contest.
The Okanagan crew got the only counter in the first period.
In the second, Kaden Black, shorthanded from Jayce Schweizer and Zachary Fournier, notched it at 1-1. Then the silky smooth Pat Brady from Garret Watson and Brayden Haskell gave Chase the lead.
In the third, KIJHL leading scorer Josh “Bourne again” Bourne lasered a power-play goal from Brady and Ryan Okino. Black was back with his second of the game, assisted by Brady and Lucas Smith.
Summerland attempted a comeback with a goal, but Conor Webb declared that was enough, stopping 25 of 27 shots fired his way.
When the teams weren’t scoring, mayhem ruled the rink as both foes kept the opposition awake with constant reminders of their dislike for each other.
Saturday night the 18th saw the Heat in the Little Apple facing the Kelowna Chiefs.
The previous evening’s shenanigans were peaceful compared to the multiple clusters of aggression in this ice capades. The Heat brought their normal style but quickly adjusted to the in-your-face, rough-and-ready mayhem displayed by the Chiefs.
In the first, the teams exchanged man-advantage tallies, Brady popping in a goal from Bourne and Kolten Moore. The first concluded with Kelowna up 2-1.
Roughing after the whistle took centre stage for this 20 minutes. In the second the teams exchanged goals, with Black on the power play from Fournier and Schweizer, keeping it close. Lots of sin-bin activities in this 20-minute stanza with more roughing continuing after the whistle.
Moore zigged and zagged on a breakaway to start the third, assisted by Bourne and Cory Loring, but the Chiefs notched a pair for a 5-3 win over Chase. Lots of net-side scrums resulted in dog piles that resulted in players either being tossed from the game or sitting in hockey purgatory with teammates.
For Chase, Grady Musgrave and Okino will be lost for a game due to suspensions, making the numbers on defence a little sketchy.
Fournier was a force over the weekend, Webb weaved magic in both games with his ability to flash the leather in making save after save to keep his team in both contests. Both veterans and rookies alike have raised their games to a higher level as the regular season chugs along. Chase is in second overall on the power play at 25.6 per cent, while sitting at seventh on the penalty kill.
Bourne continues to lead the KIJHL in scoring with 19 goals, 22 assists for 41 points. Six other Heat personnel reside in the top 50 in scoring. While the Heat are now second in the division, a three-way dog fight between 100 Mile House (29), Chase (28) and Revelstoke (27) continues.
Next home game is Saturday night the 25th versus the Grizzlies from Revelstoke.