After four games in the KIJHL Regular Season, the local Chase heat are head scratching as they look for what is missing in a 5,000 piece puzzle.
Of course, it is early and the players are working on chemistry with teammates, so maybe we all need to be a little patient. The expected didn’t happen this past weekend; working extra hard in practice hasn’t yet translated into success in games.
Friday night, Sept. 20, the 52 passenger land cruiser sailed south to Kelowna for a face-to0face clash with the Chiefs. The “Little Apple” crew get off to a quick start, getting a pair of man-advantage markers in the first six minutes of the contest. Rookie Corson Nordick gets his first KIJHL goal, assisted by Colton Nikiforuk and Tyson Lampreau, and at the end of 20 it is 2-1 home team. In the 2nd, Brandon Gremaud from Breckin Erichuk and Trevor Kennedy ties the game up. However, Kelowna fires in a counter before Evan Hughes on the power play and ties it up. In the 3rd, the two teams exchange goals, Hughes getting his second goal from Kennedy and Gremaud.
After 60 minutes, it’s 4-4 and sudden death overtime is on the evening agenda. No scoring in the first 4-on-4 five minute extra stanza, but in the 2nd 3-on-3 overtime, the Chiefs pop in the winner. A single point for the Heat for the long ride home.
Saturday night at the Art Holding Memorial Arena finds the Golden Rockets in town for the first time in four years. Once again, hot hand Hughes gets the Heat on the board from the “twins” – Corson and Haden Nordick. Unfortunately, that is all the scoring for the night, even though 41 shots are fired at the Golden tender. The visitors get a pair in the 2nd and a trio in the 3rd period to skate back home with a 5-1 victory. Ouch!
Next on the calendar are two home games, Friday the 27th versus the 100 Mile House Wranglers, and Saturday the 28th versus the Kamloops Storm. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
Heat Beat: In Kelowna’s home opener on Friday, the game was delayed 30 minutes as an excellent tribute was paid to Grant Sheridan. Our friend Grant (Chiefs owner/governor/general manager) was stricken with bacterial meningitis in March during KIJHL playoffs. His passing at 47 years of age impacted the hockey world as Grant was a visionary and strong voice for Junior B Hockey in British Columbia. He will be missed by his family, team, community and the entire KIJHL. All players this season are wearing GS stickers on their helmets in commemoration. The Chiefs and Heat have always had a special bond and we were proud to be a part of a very special evening with our friends in Kelowna.