Ok, ok, ok…maybe two weeks of pleading worked to increase attendance. More likely the weekend Atom Tournament plus fans from the visiting Columbia Valley ROCKIES placed 350 or so butts in the Chiropractor friendly plastic things that act as seats. We will go with the latter and recognize the significant contribution to HEAT coffers!
But let’s back up to the middle of last week and recount a 4 all tie versus the 100 Mile House WRANGLERS. The hosts 3rdin the Doug Birks Division versus the visiting HEAT, 2ndin the 5 team pack. A tame event relatively speaking when it comes to wrangle tangles between these two teams. 4 goals in the 1stperiod, Jayden Russell less than 5 minutes in from Hayden Wiebe and Colton Nikiforuk commenced the scoring. 100 Mile then had a pair cross the red line to take the lead. With 1:16 left and the HEAT killing a penalty Wiebe was sprung loose by Caleb Biensch and Danton L’Heureux, after 1 it was 2-2. In the 2ndstanza 3 counters slid past the red, WRANGLERS starting things off. Jacob Biensch pulled Chase even assisted by Evan Vinterlik and Brandon Gremaud. That was followed by Gavin Mattey twitching the twine from Cameron McKenzie and Breckin Erichuk.
In the 3rdthe Cariboo crew tied the game at 4-4, a pair of 5 minute periods of overtime made no difference and each team left with a single point.
Friday night the 17thin front of the aforementioned 350 plus, strangers came to the Chaos Castle in Chase. The last time the Columbia Valley ROCKIES had made their way to the Art Holding Memorial Arena was early in 2015 during the 2014-15 regular season. Not a soul in attendance had a clue how this evening’s entertainment would end, regardless of stat’s and standings. Chase had a slight advantage as they sat in wait for the visitors who travelled from Invermere to meet the HEAT. In the 1sttwenty minutes Jacob Biensch on the powerplay from Gremaud and Vinterlik placed the biscuit in the basket. That was followed by Corson Nordick on a breakaway from Marino Bordin and Caleb Biensch. The ROCKIES scored on the man advantage and after the 1stperiod it was 2-1. In the 2ndthe outstanding performances of the goalies took center stage. Bretton Park for the ROCKIES and Vince Benedetto for the HEAT nullified any scoring. Late in the 3rdNikiforuk scored on the powerplay assisted by Erichuk and Cam Watson. This game concluded a 3-1 win for Chase. Park for the ROCKIES faced 46 shots, allowing 3 goals, and Benedetto faced 23 allowing 1. Both tenders were recognized as the game stars for stellar performances on this night.
The Chase HEAT with illness and injury impacting the roster have taken 7 of a possible 8 points over the past 4 games. Two veterans are on long term injury recovery and the sick bay reports those ill have lost 7 or more pounds in their convalescence. The remaining roster has found ways to continued success.
Next at home contest, the Division leading Revelstoke GRIZZLIES this Friday the 24that 7:00 pm. This well worth the price of admission rivalry is don’t miss top notch entertainment. On the 28th, Tuesday next week the rescheduled game between the Kamloops STORM and HEAT takes place at AHMA. The month ends with a Friday the 31stget together with the Osoyoos COYOTES at our Chaos Castle.
Heat Beat: Chasing the front runners. Currently 6thoverall in the KIJHL with 23 wins in 38 games, the HEAT continue to hunt down those teams mere points ahead of them. Breckin “Chuk” Erichuk sits quietly in 6thin KIJHL scoring, 2 points away from 2ndspot. The energized Nikiforuk (18th), steady Mattey (23rd), still hot Wiebe (30th), and injured Evan Hughes (34th). Shimmy on down to the shinny magic show this Friday with the kids, and socialize with friends and neighbours while enjoying grade A KIJHL action!