It was a season full of late nights and early practices, of high high’s and low low’s, of brotherhood and hard work, and at the end of it, the Revelstoke Grizzlies have seen everything they’ve went through over the past 7 months pay off.
The Revelstoke Grizzlies have defended their KIJHL Teck Cup Championship by defeating the Nelson Leafs 6-4, winning the series in five games.
The game that won the cup
The fourth win is the hardest to get.
The Revelstoke Forum had a special buzz about it, as the line looped down around the parking lot for the chance to watch the team hoist the cup.
Liam Noble silenced the home crowd early. He blasted a slap shot from the top of the face-off key, which took a bounce off of the board, back onto his stick, burying a backhanded effort over Brandon Weare’s glove side for an early lead.
Then, with only a few minutes to go in the first frame, Caleb West found himself with some space at the point and rifled a wrist shot through a crowd that nestled into the back of the net past Dylan Marshall, sending the Forum into hysterics as the Grizzlies tied the game.
Not much to split the two sides after 20 minutes of play as both teams got on the board in the opening frame. 1-1 after one.
The Leafs came out of the gate hot to start the third. Just over thirty seconds into the second frame, the visiting team put themselves back on top through a goal from Simon Nemethy.
The Grizzlies answered quickly. A nice heads-up play from the Revelstoke defenders opened the door for a two-on-one chance, as Owen Chamberland fed Jake Wallace who lifted the puck over Marshall’s pad with poise, levelling the game once again.
The flood gates were open. Nelson answered again at 12:29 when Nemethy nabbed his second goal of the game on the power play, beating Weare glove side and firing the away team into the lead again.
West netted his second goal of the contest just three minutes later to level the game once again, but Nelson’s Joe Davidson would fire a wrist shot into the top corner at 3:20 to give the Leafs the lead heading into the second intermission.
Five goals in the second period, the highest-scoring period of this series so far, and both teams headed to the locker room to prepare for the most important third period of their season so far.
Then, two minutes into the third, Tyden McWillis buried the tying goal, creating pandemonium in the stands.
At 13:27, Ronin Pusch put the home team ahead for the first time in the game, lighting a fire under the Grizzlies to go on and take the game by the scruff of the neck.
Then, at the seven-minute mark, Brandon Kasdorf roofed a wrist shot past Marshall to deliver the dagger, and give the Grizzlies the lead they would need heading into the final minutes of the game.
Roars of the goal song echoed around the Revelstoke Forum as the Grizzlies faithful chanted at the top of their lungs, anticipating the most meaningful victory the team has captured this season.
When the final buzzer sounded, gloves soared into the air like the doves of celebration as the entire team piled into the corner to celebrate the achievement they’ve worked towards since the beginning of the season.
The Grizzlies and Leafs shook hands, showing respect to each other after a hard-fought five-game series.
KIJHL Commissioner Jeff Dubois brought the Teck Cup onto the ice to award the Revelstoke Grizzlies. Goaltender Brandon Weare was named the KIJHL Playoff MVP, a much-deserved award for the Grizzlies’ unsung hero.
Captain Berg led the team around the ice, saluting the fans with the cup.
Following game four, Will McPhee called his triple-overtime winning goal the best moment of his young hockey career so far, but it was topped when he carried the coveted trophy around the ice.
The Grizzlies will get a chance to recharge before heading to Ladner for the Cyclone Cup championships.
Congratulations to the @KIJHL Champion @RevelstokeGriz1 who are heading back to the dance to defend their title. Can the Grizzlies make it back to back Cyclone Taylor Cup titles. See you in Ladner next week!!! pic.twitter.com/JyzebqQY4v
— Cyclone Taylor Cup BC JrB (@CycloneTC_BC) April 1, 2022
READ MORE: Grizzlies provincial champions
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