The following is a summary of a week and a half in the lives of 23-plus Chase Heat hockey players.
In late afternoon on Remembrance Day, the team travels to the Olympic size rink the Kamloops foes call home base. Chase, as the team is apt to do on many occasions, opens scoring in the 1st – Ethan Buck with his first of the season from Kolten Moore and Spencer Farstad. In the 2nd there is no scoring and then, late in the 3rd, the Storm tie things up. Off to overtime 4 on 4 and hockey magic fails as Kamloops pops in the winner to take a 2-1 overtime win. The Heat get a point for the tie in regulation time. Nic Bruyere stops 25 of 27 in a valiant effort.
Up comes the weekend and the boys hop on the bus to head east to Invermere and Golden for a couple of games of shinny. It’s Saturday night at the home of the Columbia Valley Rockies. They are big and seeking revenge for a loss on the shores of Little Shuswap Lake, but 22 seconds into the 1st, the injury-free Tommy Brown puts a frown on the faces of the locals, assisted by Trevor Okino and Travis Beaubien. Then on the second shot of the game for the Heat, Logan Mostat rifles one home, assisted by Zachary Fournier and Beaubien. The Rockies immediately switch goaltenders and the result changes the visitors’ momentum. Invermere pops one in shorthanded and it’s a 2-1 contest. In the 2nd, Michael Fidanza on the power play restores the advantage, assisted by Beaubien and Mason Palaga. In the 3rd, Fidanza adds to his KIJHL rookie scoring lead by popping in his second from Pat Brady and Kyle Riley, an all-rookie effort! The Heat outshoot the opposition 48-28, with Bruyere allowing only one to squeak past him.
So Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, the boys arrive in Golden to play the Rockets. This snake-bitten competitor has just had their first victory of the season, after 22 attempts. Beware the coiled rattlesnake as one team has nothing to lose and the other is walking into this contest half awake and clearly unmotivated by the opportunity. As usual, Chase scores first in the 1st, Fidanza from Coleton Johnson and Braden Hughes, even more reason to relax. In the 2nd the Rockets take advantage not once, not twice, but three times, and the Heat are dazed and confused. In the 3rd a bit of a comeback occurs, as Fournier scores from Mostat and Hughes and then Kolten Moore from Hughes and Okino tie it up. Overtime proves nothing and these two “kiss their sister” as the expression goes as they each get a point. Daniel Toews plays well, stopping 21 of 24 in net.
Hot Shots: Beaubien assisted on three of the four goals in the Invermere game and then dropped the gloves in Golden to take a decision. A very decent weekend contribution.
Veteran Hayden Orton and rookie Cale Marchuk were released to get the team down to the 23-man roster limit. Tommy Brown scored on his first shot after missing 10 games due to injury.
The Heat organization mourns the passing of billet dad and team supporter George Carlin. The community-minded great guy will be missed. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.