Racing in with the puck and down 2-0 in the third period, the Chase Heat’s Gavin Mattey gets vertical when he is hit by Kelowna Chiefs Zane Avery. Mattey would score shortly after on the play, giving the Heat their only goal on the night as they fell to the Kelowna Chiefs 2-1 on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. (Rick Koch Photo)

Chase Heat drop games to Sicamous and Kelowna

Pair of close defeats sent the Heat into the Christmas break.

The Chase Heat limped into the Christmas break with a pair of losses to Sicamous and Kelowna.

The Chase squad visited the Eagles on Friday, Dec. 20 with reason to be confident as they had taken all three of the teams’ games earlier this season.

Owen Spannier of the Eagles scored first, assisted by Jaimes Guidon and Trevor Ebeling just after the halfway point of the first period. Michael Wong added to the tally less than three minutes later.

With Wong warming the bench in the penalty box on a two-minute slashing minor, Breckin Erichuk scored the Heat’s first goal of the game.

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Early in the second frame, Brandon Gremaud tied the game. Gremaud’s would be the only goal of the second period and the game would go on to third period tied at 2-2.

Spannier converted a power-play opportunity for his second of the game and fourth of the season to put the Eagles up 3-2.

The Heat got another power play halfway through the period, but Cole Steinke kept the visitors at bay for the rest of the frame, leaving a final score of 3-2 Eagles at the final buzzer.

Following the loss in Sicamous, the Heat played a home game on Dec. 21 against the Kelowna Chiefs.

The contest started as a defensive struggle. In the first period, the Heat put nine shots on the opposing goal and the visitors managed five shots. The scoreboard at the end of the first frame reflected the stunted offence at both ends of the ice — 0-0 after 20 minutes.

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The second period passed much as the first did, but with Kelowna’s skaters heaping more pressure onto Vince Benedetto between the pipes for the Heat. With less than two minutes in the period, Kayson Gallant of the Chiefs scored the game’s first goal.

The Chiefs scored again just before the halfway point of the third frame, leaving the Heat with two goals to make up and minutes ticking off the clock. Seven minutes before the final buzzer Gavin Mattey scored for the Heat, assisted by Cam Watson and Jacob Biensch, making the score 2-1. The home team couldn’t get the equalizer making 2-1 the final.

The Heat have one more game in 2019. They will be taking on the Kamloops storm in a 5 p.m. game on New Years Eve.

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