The Revelstoke Grizzlies are about to fight for their playoff lives.
Following a triple overtime 3-2 loss to the Wranglers in 100 Mile House last night, the teams will take to the Forum ice tonight for Game 7. Winner takes all.
The Grizzlies arrived in Revelstoke early this morning and were able to sleep in their own beds. They’re looking forward to playing on home ice, said Head Coach Ryan Parent.
“Nobody likes to travel six hours between venues, but that’s the way it is,” said Parent. “It’ll be nice to play on home ice tonight. That’s what we’re looking forward to.”
The Grizzlies and the Wranglers were evenly matched last night. The Wranglers netted the lone goal of the first period and took a 2-0 lead early in the second period. The lead was trimmed to one after a power play goal just over a minute later.
The Grizzlies then tied things up with 6:58 to go in the third period as assistant captain Jordan Rea picked up his second goal of the night.
The teams needed three overtime periods to decide the Game 6 winner. After nearly 45 minutes of overtime, the Wranglers found the back of the net.
The Grizzlies had two men in the box (Ullar Wiatzka for slashing at 6:44 and Tommy Bodtker for tripping at 5:17) when the Wranglers’ Julian Dewey scored the game-winner.
“The five-on-three in triple overtime is what decided the game,” said Parent.
He was not disappointed with how his team played, but will be making some minor adjustments before tonight’s showdown.
A number of the Grizzlies have risen to the occasion during the playoffs, said Parent, including rookie forwards Clark Nelson, 17, and Cole Golden, 18.
Parent also commended the goaltending of both Revelstoke’s Giovanni Sambrielaz and 100 Mile’s Jakob Severson.
Sambrielaz faced 36 shots, while Severson faced 54 shots.
“I thought they had spectacular goaltending last night,” said Parent.
100 Mile Head Coach Dale Hladun agreed.
“Sevy (Severson) was so in the zone,” he told Black Press. “He’s been a rock for us.”
The series has been full of penalties. With Revelstoke wracking up around 100 minutes over six games to 100 Mile’s approximately 200 minutes.
Hladun took issue with his team’s penalities.
“I haven’t addressed a lot of the misconducts and silly penalties and you tell them not to, but today I chose to be angry. The reason I chose that was I needed them to know that if they didn’t bring their ‘A’ game, then guys’ careers are done tonight,” he told Black Press following Game 6. “That’s why I was in the face of these kids just to make them on the ege of their seat.
“They weren’t happy, but I don’t care. It’s not about being happy, it’s not about being comfortable, it’s about being on the edge of your seat.”
Parent said that the plan for tonight’s Game 7 won’t deviate much from the group’s last home game on Monday night.
“We gotta work hard,” said Parent. “We gotta be a little bit smarter.”
Puck drop is tonight at 7 at the Forum.
The winner of the series will face the Osoyoos Coyotes in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference best-of-seven final.
– With files from Brendan Jure