In a Tuesday night, Oct. 29 encounter, the Chase Heat were hosts to the Sicamous Eagles at the Art Holding Memorial Arena.
One point separated these two Shuswap teams, Sicamous in the east and Chase in the west. It was the proverbial 4-pointer in the Division standings and the first meeting of these neighbours in the regular season.
In the 1st, Hayden Wiebe scored assisted by Erichuk and Gremaud. The Eagles got that one back on the powerplay. Erichuk restored the lead, assisted by Wiebe and Gremaud. After 20 minutes, it was 2-1 Heat. In the 2nd period, the Sicamous sticks popped in a pair, and after 40 it was 3-2.
In the 3rd, you could cut the tension with a butter knife and the excitement didn’t disappoint. Erichuk scored his 2nd of the night on the man advantage, a little tuck in to tie things up, Mattey providing the assistance. Then rookie Trevor Kennedy got his 4th of the season on a similar type play, tucking a back-hander past the posts after a seeing eye hot dog of a shot from Rhys Lepine with help from their friend Evan Vinterlik. The extra icing came from an empty net tally from Caleb Biensch, his 1st of the season. Chase fired 55 shots at Coltin Dodge in the Eagles net who received a star for standing on his head. Vince Benedetto nabbed 28 of 31 to keep his team in this one when it was needed. Erichuk earned the star with a 2 goal 1 assist evening.
Friday night, the 1st of November, the bags full of twisted twigs stayed over in Grand Forks. The Border Bruins were the hosts. With a minute gone in the 1st, Gavin Mattey turned up the heat when he scored unassisted. Forty-four seconds later, Marino Bordin let a slapper go from the point that bulged the twine, assisted by Rhys Lepine and Hayden Wiebe. Finishing off the 1st, Brett Alexander potted his 1st of the season from Corson Nordick.
In the 2nd, the hosts scored; however, Captain Cam Watson on the man advantage with six seconds left got that one back from Breckin Erichuk and Mattey. In the 3rd, “Beast of Burden” Evan Hughes popped a pair on either side of a border bear goal. The 1st 24 seconds in from Mattey and then the finale at 4:44 unassisted. Vince Benedetto once again backstopped his team to success, repelling 42 of 44 scoring attempts in a 6-2 win.
Saturday the 2nd in Summerland saw the Steam playing host. In the 1st 20 minutes there was no scoring. In the 2nd, veteran Colton Nikiforuk scored from Erichuk and Benedetto. Summerland got that back and the period ended 1-1. In the 3rd, the flood gates opened with a trio of tallies from the twigs of the Heat. Wiebe from Erichuk and Trevor Kennedy scored the game-winning goal. Tyson Lampreau from Watson and Hughes got an insurance goal. Hughes, game in and game out, takes the team on his back and, in doing so, insures something good happens for the team. In this case, he was first down the ice, fought for possession versus two Steam defenders and set up the counter. Jayden Russell then got his 1st of the season, an empty netter assisted by Mattey and Haden Nordick. Benedetto denied 26 of 27 to backstop a 4-1 victory.