When it was discovered that Tropical Storm Poindexter was barrelling its way headlong into Vancouver Island early Saturday morning, the Grizzlies had to abandon their standard plan to take the Comox Ferry to Powell River and instead reverted to the dreaded Plan B route. But the ad hoc trek would prove so long, arduous and fraught with bad weather, (not to mention the passing by of several road side accidents) that Sherpa guides will likely be assigned to the team bus should another Plan B be called upon in future visits to The Hap.
|Grizzlies players Pickup, Mokhtari, Visconti and Krabben carefully negotiating their way to Powell River early Saturday|
|Artist's rendition of Grizzlies arriving at Hap Parker just in time to play Kings on Saturday night|
And that moment would come at 2pm on Sunday afternoon, but not after a fully fuelled and replenished Grizzlies squad had an opportunity to sleep and eat a few solid meals. The food and rest were good, but with Captain PJ Conlon back in the lineup after missing Saturday's game due to SAT requirements, the club would show up with its full complement of forwards, all ready to play.
It would not take the Grizzlies long either to establish their dominance, outshooting the Kings in a scoreless first period 10-5. Funny enough the period was likely best highlighted by a miraculous Matt Galadja kick save on Liam Lawson. The NHL 94' inspired Kirk MacLean like save was so unbelievable that Powell River fans stood and cheered for the apparent Lawson goal, only to see that somehow the puck had remained outside of the Grizzlies' net.
In the second period after some fine Tyler Welsh and Chuck Bennis passing, Jake Stevens, on his 19th birthday would dispatch a wrist shot to put the Grizzlies up 1-0. With more scoring from Dante Hahn on a quick 2 on 1, the Grizzlies were soon up 2-0. Austin Kamer would reply on a wrap around for Powell River soon enough but the Grizzlies would answer right back late in the 2nd period with Brayden Geslinger's, team leading 11th goal of the season.
|Kirk MacLean in 1989 looking much like #35 Matt Galadja for the Grizzlies on 6 Dec, 2015|
But unfortunately for the Grizzlies, Mother Nature had other plans. With an approaching winter storm seen only in biblical references, the Grizzlies bus would find itself sitting at the Powell River Terminal, the team painfully hoping against hope that the near 100km/hr winds were not too much for the venerable BC Ferries Corporation to manage. With a few hours to kill and a nearby bowling alley only yards away, the Grizzlies would bowl away the time. Meanwhile outside, terrifying meteorological events seemingly inspired by world-wide CO2 levels which might surprise even Al Gore, pounded away at the tiny town famous for its beautiful sunshine and shiny glossy white paper.
|Storm #2 on 6 Dec, slams Powell River (Grizzlies bus visible in right corner of storm's eye)|
a) The Grizzlies goaltending is as good as any in the league and can win on any night;
b) Avoiding Khumbu Ice Fall travel, the Grizzlies can now win at will at The Hap Parker; and
c) The legend of The Undertaker continues to grow throughout the BCHL.
|Photo of Chuck Bennis, The Undertaker, "keeping it real" for the rookies during the "Post Win Team Bonding Session" at a local hotel in PR|