The HEAT heartache of a season has concluded it’s long and winding road of a season. I’ve got a feeling, that the 2019-20 season will be a vast improvement based on the number of players expressing a positive want to return. They have something to prove and as they mature their skills, strength and experience will greatly assist in the quest for success. It can’t be forgotten that this season’s squad started out as the youngest in the 20 team circuit.
The final weekend and a duo of contests with opposite conclusions brought a 49 game season to an abrupt halt. Friday night the 22nd the HEAT travelled by road cannister to 100 Mile House to face the playoff bound WRANGLERS. The game had no impact on the standings and the resultant play was a little helter skelter mixed in with a lot of ob-la-di, ob-la-da. The hosts claimed a 7-1 victory and managed to fatten up the stat’s of the team’s stars. Early in the 3rd Evan Vinterlik lazered a sharp angle counter for the lone goal, from Hayden Wiebe and Gavin Mattey. While there were a few signs of life, overall it appeared that the HEAT couldn’t wait to get home.
Contrast that effort with the bright lights of Saturday night the 23rd and the boys were back in town. Last game of the season and 408 family, friends and fans parked in the bleachers for one more time in support of their team, sons and the game they love. Another meaningless game versus the North Okanagan KNIGHTS who also were destined to miss the playoffs. Everyone expected a fun game of pond hockey, however what evolved was a high speed battle and an exhibition of clash, bash and dash. In hockey, happiness is a hot stick, and the battle field of twisted twigs did not disappoint. In the 1st Brandon Gremaud was a man on a mission as he opened scoring assisted by Breckin Erichuk and Evan Hughes. The game was then tied up before veteran 20 year old Tyler Collens provided superb penalty killing by scoring an unassisted shorthand beauty. A fine manner in which to end a junior hockey career. In the 2nd the “Goal Light Boys” led by Mattey popped a pair assisted on both occasions by Vinterlik and Erichuk. The KNIGHTS got a pair to stay within one. In the 3rd the HEAT got hot and their sticks smoldered with potential. Mr. Vinterlik and his toasty warm twig of the month of February scored assisted by Hughes. Brayden Haskell displayed his potential scoring ability assisted by Cam Watson, followed by Gremaud with his second from Kasey Jackson and Matthew Lee. Scoring concluded with the monster of the match Evan Hughes scoring from rookie Marino Bordin and wily veteran Cody Allen. Hughes earned that tally with a game long display of tenacity and hard work at both ends of the ice.
At the outset of the game HEAT Captain Cam Watson was presented with the KIJHL Doug Birks Division Top Defenceman Award for 2018-19. The Division is comprised of the Revelstoke GRIZZLIES, the 100 Mile House WRANGLERS, the Sicamous EAGLES, the Kamloops STORM as well as the local Chase HEAT. Plenty of top quality defenders throughout with the HEAT’s Cam Watson being recognized as the best.
Thanks are extended to the Community for supporting OUR team! Without billet homes, volunteers, fans and sponsors the little Village’s team wouldn’t exist. See you just around the corner for the 2019-20 season!