By Steve Smith
Hot off the tail of winning Round 2 of the KIJHL playoffs against the Chase Chiefs in six games on Saturday, March 6, the Revelstoke Grizzlies faced the Princeton Posse tonight in the Forum. Princeton has been one of the better teams in the last half of the season, and both coaches are good friends!
“I’m looking forward to this series as Dale Hladun (Princeton’s coach) and I are good friends. Princeton is a strong team and we’ll have our work cut out for us,” Coach Mick stated.
The first period was all Grizzly hockey with a superior display of skill. The Posse looked lackadaisical after such a long layoff; as did the Grizz at the start of the Chase series. The Grizzlies’ Faiz Khan scored two goals in the first period alone. One was a tap-in at 17:30 and later, a power play one-timer with less than two minutes to go in the first. (Assists: Two to Luke Richardson, one to Lucas Blinkhorn, and Riley Spraggs). The Grizz also had one disallowed goal in this period much to the chagrin of the crowd.
The second started with the Posse pushing the issue. A
different Grizzlies team came out; sitting back and not playing hard. Grizz Trevor Esau took a hooking penalty at 11:50 and the Posse’s ensuing power play was effective as towering Brenden Stephen drilled a shot along the ice fooling Grizz goalie Andrew Parent. The Posse then tied the game at 2-2, on a horrible turnover which led to the puck coming out front to Brody Brewster who drilled it high past a sprawling Parent. The poor play of the Grizz in this period was belied by Grizzlies’ forward Jakob Reichert’s devastating hit on Posse Dayton Shaw! The Grizz regained some control by the end with some sporadic flurries, but no dice!
In the third, the crowd of 350 plus were waiting to see who would take the lead and which Grizzlies team would show up. Jakob Reichert came out ready to play, throwing the body around and charged the net; along with Alex Spadoni. ‘Spuds’ poked in his first of the series at 15:21 giving the Grizz the lead. The Grizz led the period in hits with Spraggs, Esau, Kyle Ceretzke, Dayton Martens and Brad Friedrich laying out some nice ones to set the tone. The Grizz went back on the power play at the 11:00 marker and were able to capitalize; only to have the goal called back again. From the press box, Luke Richardson definitely took the puck from his hand to his stick and then shot it in; but, the ref was not in proper position to see it. Princeton called a time out with two minutes left, pulled their goalie, and were able to tie the game, 3-3 with twenty seconds left on a soft wrist shot by Spencer Kristensen.
The first 10-minute overtime was eventful with a few early Grizz opportunities and stellar passing, but no scoring. The second overtime was set for 20 minutes but was over early as Bruce Silvera ended the game 42 seconds in with a nice backhand going 5-hole on Posse goalie, Brett Patchett to end the game 4-3.
Come back to the Forum on Wednesday, March 10 for Game 2 of this series. Don’t miss it. Game 3 and Game 4 are in Princeton on Friday and Saturday night respectively. See you there!
Here are a couple of additional shots from the Tuesday night game: