Revelstoke Grizzlies put away Wranglers, take Doug Birks Division title

Revelstoke Grizzlies take Doug Birks Division title, end 100 Mile House Wranglers' season in a high-shooting 4-1 win at a raucous Revelstoke Forum Wednesday night. They're back at it in the Revelstoke Forum on Saturday night when they take on the Osoyoos Coyotes in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference final.

The Revelstoke Grizzlies take a lap after putting away the 100 Mile House Wranglers at home on Wednesday night. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The Revelstoke Grizzlies are Doug Birks Division champions after defeating the 100 Mile House Wranglers in a close, marathon seven-game series that went to overtime in games five and six.

The fans were into it. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The Revelstoke Forum was raucous on Wednesday night as a near-capacity crowd packed the rink for a do-or-die game seven. The beer garden was sold out, and the building was packed with noisy fans and an animated cheering section that banged pots and pans and managed to get the wave going around the arena.

Tommy Bodtker goes hard to the net. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The game was a must-win for both teams, who were coming off a marathon triple overtime game the night before in 100 Mile House, then a long bus ride to Revestoke.

The wave. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The Grizzlies struggled with penalties in the first, forcing netminder Giovanni Sambrielaz to stop 18 shots, while the Grizzlies mustered 8.

David Lenzin had a goal on the night but missed on this chance. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Ryan Pereverzoff led off the scoring late in the first on an assist from Ullar Wiatzka and Nii Noi Tetteh, raising the crowds spirits before the break.

The Wranglers’ Garett Hilton tied it up early in the second, but the Grizzlies took the lead again with a goal from David Lenzin.

Fans at the frisby toss. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Jordan Robertson added to the scoresheet with 13:09 to put the Grizzlies up 3-1.

Momentum shifted throughout the game, but increasingly tilted towards the Grizz as the game went on. The Grizzlies took seven penalties to the Wranglers’ four, and were forced to defend shorthanded.

Young fans greet the team as they exit the ice between periods. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

As the clock wound down, the Wranglers pulled goalie Jakob Severson, clearing the way for a backbreaking empty net goal by Tommy Bodtker, for a 4-1 win for the Grizzlies.

The animated cheering section. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

In net for the Grizzlies, Giovanni Sambrielaz stopped 42 of 43 shots he faced. The game was a shootout: Wranglers netminder stopped 50 of 54 shots.

The teams shake hands to end the series. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The Grizzlies now face the Osoyoos Coyotes in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Finals. The first game of the series start this Saturday, March 17 at 7 p.m. at the Revelstoke Forum.

Note: An earlier version of the story had the Revelstoke/Osoyoos series starting on Friday night. The series has been rescheduled to start Saturday night in Revelstoke.