By Jarrett Spannier
Head coach Atom Jr. Grizzlies
Fourteen local nine-, 10- and 11-year-olds hit the ice in Clearwater on Friday March 11th, 2011 in quest of a playoff championship banner. The boys were coming off a roller coaster season and entered the tournament with a 5th place ranking. The Atom Jr. Grizzlies entered the tournament with high hopes as their abilities as a team did not reflect their season record.
The Jr. Grizzlies opened the tournament with a 5-2 victory over Merritt and clinched first place in their pool with a 8-5 win over the league leading North Ok Knights before dropping a third match against Clearwater.
The first place position earned them a semi-final match against the Pee-wee Girls teams from Clearwater. The semi-final game was one of the boys best team efforts of the entire year as they held the older, and much larger girls team to minimal offensive chances and won the game 6 to 3.
The Jr. Grizzlies met tournament favorite Chase in the finals. Chase opened the scoring at the 28 second mark of the first period but captain, Ray Speerbrecker evened the score at 10:21 with he tipped in a Templeton shot from the point. Chase scored 2 minutes later and held the 2-1 lead thru the 2nd period. Jeremy Scarcella tied the game at the 4:03 mark of the 3rd which seemed to ignite the boys as Rory-Christie Hoyle and Matt Cadden tallied quickly to give Revelstoke a 4-2 lead. Chase added a lone marked on a 5 on 3 power-play but the gritty Revelstoke team held on for the last 6 minutes to earn the championship.
The Atom Jr. Grizzlies put it all together when it counted! Backed by solid goaltending by Newsome and Spannier, the team responded with non-selfish play as was evident in the fact that ALL 12 skaters hit the score sheet in some way over the 5 game tournament. Captain Ray Speerbrecker lead all scorers with a 10 pts, Grimm and Christie-Hoyle 6 pts, Cadden and Mallett 4 pts. Marsh, McKenzie and Templeton 2 each with single markers for Bokis, Hill, McCallum and Scarcella. Congratulations to all the players for an outstanding weekend to end their season!