Offense sputters at home as Grizzlies split weekend games
Kevin Kraus has one simple goal for his Revelstoke Grizzlies heading into this final weekend.
“Go 3-0,” he said. “I think that’s the goal, so the kids can go home on a bit of a high. I think if we can do that we can say we’ve had a pretty successful first half.”
It’s a tall task for a team that has been unable to win two games in a weekend since mid-October.
This past weekend the Grizzlies showed they could compete with anyone, defeating the North Okanagan Knights 5-4 in overtime before falling 3-0 in a hard fought match against the Castlegar Rebels, who currently have the second best record in the league.
“I think we played well this weekend,” said Kraus. “We had a good team effort last night in North OK, came back from behind in the third. We’re just trying to build on things right now and not dwell on too many things.”
On Friday, Austin Donaldson and Darnel St. Pierre scored twice and Spencer Samuel had the overtime winner as the Grizzlies came from behind to defeat the Knights in Armstrong.
St. Pierre got the Grizzlies on board first at 9:44 of the first period but three straight goals by the Knights gave North Okanagan a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
That’s when Donaldson struck, scoring twice in a little more than two minutes around the mid-point of the third period. St. Pierre gave Revelstoke the lead with 7:28 to go but a last minute goal by Tanner Burns of the Knights sent the game to overtime.
That’s when Samuel did his thing, scoring his league-leading 23rd goal of the season to give Revelstoke the win. However, his showboating afterward earned him a game misconduct and an automatic one-game suspension.
On Saturday, the Grizzlies hosted the Rebels. In a hard-hitting game, the Castlegar emerged victorious thanks to two power play goals and strong goaltending from Connor Beauchamp, who made 41 saves for the shutout.
Kraus said constant injuries were hurting the team and making it difficult to dress a healthy lineup. On Saturday, forward Dallas Flockhart returned to the lineup after several weeks out injured, but Samuel and Riley Creighton both missed the game.
“I haven’t healthy-scratched a guy in two months. It wears on guys,” said Kraus. “Some guys are playing more minutes than they would normally have to. That’s my excuse for now.”
However, he added, the team has to start stringing together wins if it wants to move up going forward.
This weekend the Grizzlies take host the Spokane Braves on Friday, before ending off 2012 with a home-and-home series against the Knights. The Grizzlies currently sit third in the Doug Birks division, nine points behind the Sicamous Eagles and seven back of the Knights.