Three games closer to the end of the regular season results in a tale of three cities.
Story line one finds the Heat in the Mountain Mecca of Revelstoke on Tuesday the 19th. The Grizzlies, as expected, are ornery and prepared to feast on their rivals. But alas, something goes awry and a Heat wave takes the nasty out of the cubs. Nic Bruyere in the twine stops 26 of 26 to earn his second shutout of the season in a 4-0 road victory, with all goals coming on the KIJHL-leading power play.
The damage in the 1st starts with Michael Fidanza from Trevor Okino and Braden Hughes. Then, Tommy Brown gets goal-number two from Okino and Fidanza. In the 2nd period, leading scorer Kolten Moore pops a pair, the Heat’s third goal is from Josh Bourne and Zach Fournier and the fourth tally’s from Hughes and Okino. Two great points earned ahead of a challenging couple of contests in wine country.
Tale two finds the Chase squad on Saturday the 23rd in the Canadian desert versus the Osoyoos Coyotes. Arguably one of the top-three teams in the league, the talented Yotes get off to a three-goal lead in the 1st prior to a pane of broken glass causing a lengthy delay.
After the stoppage the game changes. Although the desert dogs do dump in a fourth tally, the game plays out on a more even basis. In the 2nd, the Heat get one from Austin Willier, assisted by Travis Beaubien and Spencer Farstad. That’s it for scoring as the Coyotes take a 4-1 victory after firing 54 shots at Bruyere who denies 50 of them.
On Sunday the 24th, the third battle occurs in Steamy Summerland. The Heat allow the Steam to pop in a pair in the 1st before they wake up and go to work. Tommy Brown starts the comeback aided by a great pass from Bourne and Okino.
The Choo Choo crew is not happy and Pat Brady is called on to win his first KIJHL tilt. This leads to Fidanza then getting a power-play tally from Hughes and Brown.
In the 2nd, the two teams trade a goal apiece, Willier from Kaden Black and Mason Palaga knotting the game up 3-3.
The 3rd is all Chase, who outshoot the home side 11-3 on their way to scoring a pair – Cole Perison with his 1st of the year from Fidanza and Bourne, then Bourne takes the starch out of the Steam with an unassisted empty netter. Daniel Toews between the pipes stops 26 of 29 to claim the victory.
Stat’s and whacks: The Heat lead the KIJHL on Special Teams. The league-leading power play is purring at 24.62 per cent overall, 26.17 per cent at home. The penalty kill is fifth overall at 85.85 per cent. Lethal and stingy are the words that describe the Heat to date.
Whacks and hacks caused injuries resulting in upper-body problems for Alex Durbeniuk, Travis Beaubien and Ethan Buck. Kolten Moore is limping with lower-body trauma.
Next up, the Posse from Princeton on Saturday the 30th at the Art Holding Memorial Arena and then a road war versus the Storm in Kamloops on Sunday the 31st.