As some wise old person may have said, ‘betting big money on early season results is a crazy thing to do,’ yet, at the same, opening weekend gives hockey fans something to cheer about.
The Chase Heat opened the KIJHL regular season at the Art Holding Memorial Arena on Friday, Sept. 11, by hosting the Creston Valley Thundercats.
In front of 252 fans, the teams played an entertaining contest with some small patches of early season rust as line chemistry was worked on. After a scoreless 1st, Chase opened scoring in the 2nd with veteran Hayden Orten doing the damage assisted by newcomers Ethan Buck and Nolan Parr. Creston shook off the bus legs and fired three in a row past Daniel Toews in net for the Heat.
Early in the 3rd, it was three veterans – Tommy Brown potting the black disk, assisted by Kolten Moore and Travis Beaubien. Stellar performances by both goaltenders as the Heat fired 48 shots at Creston, 25 in the 3rd with the end result being a 3-2 home opening loss.
On Saturday the 12th, the Heat travelled to the South Cariboo to face arch rivals, the 100 Mile House Wranglers, who were big, aggressive and determined to hit anything that moved.
In the 1st, Moore scored assisted by Logan Mostat to deflate the cowboys and cowgirls in the stands. In the 2nd the Wranglers got a pair and then veteran Alexander Durbeniuk was packed off the ice after a needless and classless hitting-from- behind incident. Chase took advantage of the resulting five-minute major penalty by scoring a pair of power-play markers. Mostat from Okino and Spencer Farstad and then Mostat again from Braden Hughes and Kyle Riley.
With one second left, 100 Mile tied things up on the power play. Then to overtime and the fans all cinched up their seat belts just a little tighter – 1st overtime nothing, 2nd overtime and Moore gets his second of the game from Brown and Okino, ending in a 4-3 overtime victory with Nic Bruyere stopping 31 of 34 for the win. Chase fired 35 at the Wrangler tender.
Next up is a home and home series versus the Kelowna Chiefs. Friday the 18th Chase is in Rutland and Saturday the 19th at 7 p.m. they host the Chiefs.
The 19th at 3 p.m. will see the inaugural alumni game between the ‘old’ Chase Chiefs and the slightly less old Chase Heat. Admission is by donation with Chase Minor Hockey the beneficiary. Come on out and enjoy your old favourites.