The Chase Heat’s season to date has been full of hot opposition goaltenders or a lack of ‘want to take advantage of opportunity when it surfaces.’
This past weekend was a prime example of both as the local squad split a pair of games versus division rivals.
On Friday, Dec. 11, the Heat travelled to 100 Mile House to face the Wranglers. At game’s end, Chase outshot the opposition 43 to 26 and lost in regulation 3-2.
In the first it should have been 4-1 Heat but instead was 1-0 Wranglers. There was no scoring in the second where the Heat outshot 100 Mile 17 to 4, and in the tight third the teams split a pair apiece.
Wranglers went up 2-0 on an unassisted Jaydon Gilding marker prior to new recruit Michael Howlett getting his first KIJHL tally from Alex Durbeniuk and Grady Musgrave.
Then the Cowboys’ Ryan Friesen got one for the foes before Pat Brady for the Heat on the power play made it interesting from Austin Willier and Durbeniuk. Nic Bruyere played well in net, stopping 23 of 26.
Back home on Saturday the 12th, the Heat faced the Sicamous Eagles at the Art Holding Memorial Arena.
It was almost a “here we go again” event as another hot goaltender was in the opposition cage.
Chase fired 19 shots in the first and got a pair – hard-hitting Travis Beaubien was rewarded from Willier and Zachary Fournier. In the last minute, Kolten Moore got a power-play marker from Logan Mostat and Trevor Okino.
In the second there was no scoring in spite of 14 shots fired at Michael Lenko in the Eagles’ net. In the third, Bryce McDonald ruined a shutout opportunity for Daniel Toews in the Heat twine. Fournier popped in an empty netter with 15 seconds left to put icing on a 3-1 Chase victory. Toews played just as well as Lenko, stopping 26 of 27 fired in his direction.
The Heat, in losing to the Wranglers in what is known as a “four pointer,” fell further behind the second-place team in the Doug Birks division. Over the two games, 89 shots were directed at opposition nets with only five finding success.
The smooth skating and skilled Heat need to bury more of those opportunities in order to move up in overall KIJHL standings.
Blue Line Bloopers: Lenko was traded from the Revelstoke Grizzlies on Dec. 1 to the Spokane Braves and acquired from them by the Sicamous Eagles on December the 8th. The Heat may face him five more times in the regulation season.
Defenceman Mason Palaga has one game left to serve in his three-game suspension. While he will miss the game in Kamloops on Friday the 18th, he will be back for Saturday’s rematch versus the Eagles at Art Holding Memorial Arena at 7 p.m.
The 19th is the night to pick up some fantastic homemade Christmas baking and support the team by doing just that!