This past week in Heatville has more plot changes than a soap opera.
A new acquisition from the Summerland Steam lasted less than a week, before being immediately replaced.
The Heat consummated a trade with the Osoyoos Coyotes for 18-year-old forward Breckin Erichuk. 14 months ago the then-rookie from Kamloops could have joined the Heat but chose a circle route through those months to ultimately land on the shores of Little Shuswap Lake. The veteran made an immediate impact over the weekend with a goal in each of the two games played, alongside Gavin Mattey and Brandon Gremaud.
So, the local lads left Chase on an eight-hour bus ride Friday, Oct. 19, their destination being Fernie to battle the Ghostriders in a crossover contest in the land of coal, tourism and funkiness.
In the first no scoring occurred. In the second Fernie got on the board first. That was followed by Erichuk getting his first with the Heat from Brenden Laing and Gremaud.However, Fernie got another counter and the period ended 2-1 homeside.
In the third Gavin Mattey notched things at 2-2 on the powerplay from Cam Watson and Gremaud, but the Ghostriders had the last laugh and captured a 3-2 win for top prize.
After a stayover in Fernie the crew boarded the land yacht for a cruise to Creston to face the Thundercats. It’s Saturday night in Kokanee Country and Mattey pops in the starter from Gremaud and Watson, but Creston ties it up.
In the second Gremaud scores from Erichuk before the Kootenay kids tie it up again. In the third the Thudnercats pop two, due to penalty trouble on the Chase side. Things get tense when Erichuk slides a sneaker in from Mattey and Laing, but that was all there was to get as Creston stole two points for the 4-3 win. Both Geoff Drought on Friday and Dylan Barton on Saturday did more than enough to keep the Heat in both contests.
Time is not always on your side when travelling. Eight hours of driving to start the weekend in an oxygen deprived metal container doing 100 km/h was the appetizer. The main meal was delivered after leaving Creston at 10:30 pm Saturday without enough time on the driver meter to get the Heat home. Somewhere in the wilderness short of the Big White turnoff we were met by another coach bringing a replacement driver to the rescue.
Through a thousand wandering deer, fog and snores the lumbering stagecoach arrived in Chase at 5:50 a.m. Sunday morning. Just in time to clean the bus and tmake a bleary-eyed drive to a billet home to hit the sheets. A couple of days in the life of a hockey team, working towards success and travelling in the right direction.