By David F. Rooney
The Revelstoke Grizzlies returned home with the best of all possible hat tricks in their collective pocket: the KIJHL championship, the Cyclone Taylor Cup making them BC’s provincial champs and now the Keystone Cup that marks them as the bext Junior B team in Western Canada.
If you weren’t at the Forum on Sunday night you can meet the team and see the trophies downtown at Grizzly Plaza today (Monday) at 12:30 pm.
They have done something no other Revelstoke team has done and they did it with style, skill, determination, focus, talent and superb coaching by Troy Mick.
“These boys have earned their very own cabinet in the History of Hockey,” said hockey historian Dennis Beraducci as he watched the players and fans mingle around the Keystone Cup in front of the Forum on Sunday evening. “They deserve it.”
Mayor Dave Raven was on hand to salute the boys and said he’d love to throw them a parade. However, many of the players will be gone on Tuesday so a parade is unlikely, but team members likely will appear at Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies beat Saskatchewan’s Tri Town Thunder 5-3 Sunday afternoon making them the best Junior B Hockey team in Western Canada.
The Grizzlies went to Kamloops on Thursday where they calmed the Storm 6-2, followed by a 4-2 blitz on the Tri-Town Thunder, the top Junior B team from Saskatchewan. On Friday they lost 3-1 to Manitoba’s Selkirk Fishermen and on Saturday they roared back to demolish Alberta’s Beaumonth Chiefs 7-2 and the North Ontario Hawks by a score of 4-2. They played the Tri-Town Thunder in the gold medal match Sunday afternoon.
Revelstoke’s Luke Richardson opened the scoring on Sunday at 9:34 in the first period with assists from Caleb Roy and Kyle Ceretzke. He scored the second goal at 15:14 in the second period with help again from Roy and Bruce Silvera. Faiz Khan scored the Grizzlies third goal at 13:26 in the third period on a power play with help from Richardson and Brad Friedrich. Then Richardson scored a third time, this one at 7:40 on a power play with — again — help from Caleb Roy. The Grizzlies final goal came from Ben Bula on an assist from Trevor Esau with just 46 seconds remaining in the game. Tri Town scored once in the second period and twice in the third. That was all she wrote — but it was enough for the hockey history books. The win gave the Grizzlies gold, Saskatchewan’s Tri Town Thunder silver and the Kamloops Storm bronze.
Don’t let the scores fool you. These were not easy wins against weak teams. The other provincial champions in the Keystone Cup series are powerful teams with players as old as 21. So these scores tell me the Grizzlies are an immensely talented, skilled and focused team. Based on their track record they are without a doubt the best hockey team that has ever represented our community.
“This is like seeing your child grow up and graduate,” said Kirk Pont who helped found the society that got the Grizzlies going as a team. “This is a moment I’ll always remember.”