You could feel the tension going into last weekend from the players, staff, volunteers and fans as the Chase Heat had two games to turn around their season to date.
Friday night October 21st at the Art Holding Memorial Arena the Grand Forks Border Bruins were the guests. It feels like eons since these two teams met and little was known about the potential outcome prior to puck drop. Optimism spiked when Cale Nahorney less then 5 minutes in plunked the bisquit in the basket, “apples” going to Parker Garries and Trevor Kennedy. Around 7 minutes later all 18 wheels fell off the Heat motivation, energy, continuity and drive. Three goals by the foes of the night made it 3-1 after 20 minutes. After 40 minutes it was 6-1 and at end of game 8-1 for the Border Bruins. The result was plain and simply ugly.
Less then 24 hours later it was meet and greet time with Division rivals the 100 Mile House Wranglers. The Heat dressed 18, two under the limit. The rationale, suit up the guys who wanted to play and leave the rest on the sidelines wearing their suits. Of those in uniform 8 of them were defencemen, 2 playing forward for the evening. The healthy scratches were given observation roles on what it takes to be successful in junior hockey. Maybe it worked, only the future will tell. In the last writeup the Trade Train was talked about, it stopped in Chase this week, and rumours are blowing in the trade winds.
So, Saturday at the local Chaos Castle and the Wranglers strike first, but the Heat are running hot. Ryan Keylor shoots and scores with aide from Aiden Brown and Carter Spring to tie it up. Then Kieran Armitage from Brendan Dohan and Kennedy makes it 2-1 Heat at the end of the 1st period. In the 2nd the Cariboo cowboys tie it at 2-2. The final 20 minutes finds Braeden Huth popping the disk with helpers from Garrett Martin and Garries. Aiden Brown finds a way to get the puck past the goal line with aide from Huth and Garries, prior to the foes getting a tally. This hardworking game by both teams ends 4-3 Heat with 2 valuable points in the standings the reward. Over the weekend rookie defenceman Parker Garries stands out with 4 assists while playing solid hockey at both ends of the rink. Roderic May between the pipes denied 36 of 39 shots in a puck plucking performance.
The Heat hit the highway to Revelstoke and Kelowna prior to the next home game on Tuesday November 1st at 7:00 pm. There is a warm seat available for hockey hounds, so get rid of the leash and head to the rink where you can freely bark and slobber on anyone and anything. Woof!