A menagerie of different players, who’s hot, useful and useless statistics, game reports, healthy and hurt, a look at the future, an upcoming event and ….
A brief glimpse at the future with two weeks to go in the KIJHL regular season. Four games left with three of them opportunities for you the casual fan to catch YOUR team at the Art Holding Memorial Arena. Friday the 14th versus the very hot Princeton POSSE followed by another installment of the battle of the Shuswap, the EAGLES from Sicamous here on Saturday night. The following weekend the houseboaters from Sicamous are back for a Friday the 21st clash. The HEAT finish on the road the 22nd versus the Kamloops STORM, a short trundle down the turnpike to the west.
The second season, the playoffs are fast approaching and it appears at this moment in time that the 100 Mile House WRANGLERS will be the opposition in the first round 7 game series. Game 1 will probably go Friday the 28th at our very own Chaos Castle. The heat will get turned up for some sizzling shinny!
The revolving door of the Infirmary finds different faces in different places. Evan “The Beast” Hughes is back on the ice, as is Colton Nikiforuk and Trevor Kennedy. Tyson Lampreau is skating at practice but time will tell on his return to game play and Marino Bordin is nursing an upper body injury. Two unsettling hurts are lower body injuries to “Captain Crunch” Cam Watson and Vince “Benny” Bennedetto.
Turning to the past weekends game reports, what stands out are the stellar returns from injuries of Nikiforuk and Kennedy. On Friday night in Osoyoos Kennedy popped in 3 for a hat trick, while Nikiforuk scored twice and assisted on two of Kennedy’s goals. Saturday night he scored two more for a 6 point weekend, the rest was good for that fine fella!
So, Friday versus the COYOTES in the south Okanagan “Nico” scores the opener from Rhys Lepine and Dylan Barton, then Osoyoos gets a pair before Nikiforuk on the powerplay ties the game from Gavin Mattey and Hughes. In the 2nd period it is the Kennedy show, his 1st a shorthanded effort from Brandon Gremaud and Nikiforuk. His 2nd popped in with help from Corson Nordick and Nikiforuk, after 2 it is 4-2. In the 3rd Kennedy completes the hat trick with aid from Gremaud, with Hughes adding icing from Evan Vinterlik for a 6-2 win. Barton denied 18 of 20 to backstop his buddies to success. The three stars, Kennedy, Nikiforuk and Barton.
Saturday night the 8th of February in Summerland versus the STEAM featured low scoring and a lot of nailbiting. After 20 minutes it was 1-0 for the hosts. After 40 minutes it was 2-1 visitors with the HEAT scoring a pair. Team leading point getter Breckin Erichuk from Hayden Wiebe and Caleb Biensch. Hot hands Nikiforuk got the second counter from Erichuk and Corson Nordick. In the 3rd Summerland tied the contest at 2-2, before hot hands Nikiforuk scored with 19 seconds left assisted by Gremaud and Danton L’Heureux. Barton replaced Vince Benedetto in goal 3:42 into the game due to an injury. “Barts” allowed 1 goal on a 30 save effort for a stellar weekend of puck stopping.
The HEAT remain in the thick of competition currently sitting 7th in KIJHL combined standings, 2nd in the Doug Birks Division. Guaranteed to be in the playoffs, the only guarantee for any of the playoff teams is the first round, after that its anyone’s game. Breckin Erichuk sits 6th overall in League scoring with Nikiforuk, Mattey, Wiebe and Hughes keeping him company in the top 50.
Mark February 19th on your calendar for a very special event coming to our town thanks to a Chase Lions Club and Chase HEAT partnership. From 3:00 – 7:00 pm on Wednesday the 19th at Chase Secondary School the CHASE MENTAL HEALTH FAIR provides door opening information and facts about a very important subject. Free admission with everyone welcome, guest speakers, displays, information booths and more…see you there!