This past weekend the lone game for the wounded and beat up Chase Heat was a home encounter versus the Mountain Mecca Mad Bears.
Friday night lights were burning at the Chaos Castle and 285 loyal fans traipsed through the turnstile to plunk their butts into the hard plastic seats at the Art Holding Memorial Arena.
The tasty mochas and succulent poutine at the Chilli Areena Cantina drew them out of their warm homes and into the sub zero climate, with the game a probable afterthought. But, on this night the proverbial hockey gods had something wonderful in store for those hardy souls.
The division-leading powerhouse Revelstoke Grizzlies were facing off versus the local home-town heros.
The Stoke crew, possibly the very best squad in the KIJHL, versus a young crew from Chase that sits well back in the standings. Chase showed great competition and a willingness for hard work right off the opening faceoff. Half way through the opening period, Evan Vinterlik from Cam Watson and Breckin Erichuk got the fans excited. Five minutes later, Mr. Vinterlik popped another from Gavin Mattey. Vinterlik was fine wine from the vine as he tickled the twine with his talented twisted twig tricks. After 20 minutes the Heat were up 2-0.
In the 2nd, the visitors got to within one; however, Tyson Lampreau regained the two goal differential from Vinterlik and Ty Collens. Prior to 40 minutes concluding, the visitors got another and the score was 3-2. Nail biting time in the 3rd, relieved half way through when Erichuk dipped, dodged and doodled to undress the Revelstokian tender. The helpers went to Evan Hughes and Cody Allen. With 3:59 left in regulation, the visitor’s top marksman placed the puck in the Chase net. With the goalie from the Stoke pulled, frantic six-on-five action in the final minute solved absolutely nothing and the Heat worked their way to a 4-3 victory.
Bright lights of the night, Vinterlik with his magic could have scored six times; Erichuk with his playmaking and puck control was denied more than a couple of counters; and Geoff Drought in net was drop-dead stellar in his puck denial of 39 of 42 attempts. Evan Hughes and Cam Watson were beasts of burden as they set early and often the example of hard work and tenacity. The supporting cast never quit and the positive result was well deserved.
Next home game is Saturday the 16th versus the howling Coyotes from Osoyoos. The regular season concludes the following Saturday the 23rd with a clash with the North Okanagan Knights. The annual awards banquet happens at 5 p.m. on the 24th at the ALIB Conference Centre. For $20 you can enjoy an evening of tall tales, a team video, scrumptious pasta and chicken dinner as well as games of chance. So take a chance and come out for a fun evening. 778-220-6955 for tickets.