The Revelstoke Grizzlies will face the Nelson Leafs in the KIJHL Teck Cup Championship series best-of-seven series, which starts with back-to-back home games at the Revelstoke Forum this Friday and Saturday night, March 25 and 26.
The Teck Cup Championship determines the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) championship. There was no championship series in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons due to COVID-19-related cancellations. This means the Revelstoke Grizzlies will be skating for back-to-back championships, having defeated the Kimberley Dynamiters to win the cup in the 2018/19 final.
In the Kootenay Conference, th Nelson Leafs defeated the Dynamiters in six games, including overtime play in the last two games of the series.
In regular-season league standings, the Revelstoke Grizzlies finished third in the points race with 64, just ahead of the Nelson Leafs who came in fourth with 63.
Revelstoke Grizzlies General Manager, Ryan Parent, said the plan is take it one game at a time. “We will have to be prepared each game. These are two good teams going head to head.”
The Grizzlies have been on a rampage in the post-season with a 12-2 record, sweeping the Sicamous Eagles in the first round, and the Osoyoos Coyotes in the third round. The semi-final sweep was even more noteworthy considering the Coyotes dominated in regular-season play, skating to a lopsided 33-3 record in regular time.
The Grizzlies previous KIJHL championship came in 2009/10, when they defeated the Nelson Leafs in final series.
The puck drops for the first game on Friday, Mar. 25 at 7 p.m. Game two is on Saturday, Mar. 26 at 7 p.m. Games two and three are at the Nelson Community Complex on Mar. 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. If necessary, game 5 is on Thursday, Mar. 31 at the Revelstoke Forum. The remainder of the series, also if necessary, has not been scheduled.
The Nelson Leafs teams have been crowned Teck Cup Champions five times, most recently in 2008/09. Since joining the KIJHL in 1993, the Revelstoke Grizzlies have won the cup three times.
Since the 2016/17 season, KIJHL teams play only other teams in their conference during the regular season, meaning the Teck Cup Championship series will be the first match-up for the Grizzlies and Leafs. Over the past two pre-COVID championship series, inter-conference finals play has been evenly matched, both final series featuring the Revelstoke Grizzlies and Kimberley Dynamiters, who won one each.