The air in the Revelstoke Forum was thick with beers, cheers and victory on Friday night.
On March 18, the Revelstoke Grizzlies beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 3-1 in game three of the series, moving within one win of a ticket to the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) finals.
Friday’s win gives the Grizzlies a 3-0 lead in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Finals.
Grizzlies beat Osoyoos Coyotes 3-1 amongst a roaring crowd at the Forum
Beyond the action on the ice, the stands filled with roaring spectators. Although this was my first time watching the Revelstoke Grizzlies play, I am familiar with the atmosphere of KIJHL games.
As a teenager in Creston, I attended many Creston Valley Thundercats games at the local arena. While those matches got relatively rowdy, especially against rivals Kimberley Dynamiters, the stands at the Creston and District Community Complex cannot compare to the atmosphere at the Revelstoke Forum.
While Revelstoke’s younger demographics are definitely a factor, the noise at the Forum sounded closer to an NHL game than a community rink. Cheers of celebration are interrupted by crashing plastic cups, and subsequent boo’s.
With all the entertainment in the crowd, it was difficult to keep up with the puck action. So, I asked a volunteer and long-term fan what he thought of the Grizzlies play.
“I mean, we are where we are for a reason,” said John Hordijk, a Grizzlies fan of seven years. He recounts fan victories throughout the 2021/2022 season, including “out-chanting and cheering the Sicamous fans.”
While friendly rivalries fuel fans, the Grizzlies move into game four against the Osoyoos Coyotes on March 19 at 7 p.m. To catch the action, on ice and off, tickets are available at the door. Early arrival is recommended, as capacity is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The winner of the Revelstoke-Osoyoos Okanagan-Shuswap Conference finals will face the Kootenay Division champions. Currently, the Kimberley Dynamiters are up 2-1 against the Nelson Leafs. The teams also face off for game four on Saturday at 7 p.m.