A Win for Warwick Grizzlies!
Warwick Grizzlies vs Wakefield Wolves 7-6
A gruelling season and a half without a win for the Grizzlies finally came to an end on the 29th of November. A tough couple of games against Wakefield and Scorpions with a small squad meant that we had our work cut out for us if we wanted to get anything out of the weekend. We began the day with a game against Wakefield Wolves, in the first Grizzlies game for Jack Meadows and Georgs Vikanis. A positive and energetic start saw Sandris Sikorka wonderfully open the scoring with some fantastic composure in front of goal to put the Grizzlies 1-0 up within the first twenty seconds of the game. A lapse of concentration saw us drop back to 1-1, but a signature bit of skill from Pier-Olivier Marchand meant that we were leading 2-1 going into the break. An even second period saw Jack Meadows and Andrew Wiseman both score their first goals for the club and we saw out the period at 4-3. However, the drama was all to come in the final period as the tension and anxiety rose at the possibility of that first win and a place in division 2 at stake for both teams. Further goals from Sandris Sikorka, Pier-Olivier Marchand and Samuel Lehtinen meant that it was 7-5 with just minutes to go. However, a lack of discipline saw us go down to 4 vs 5, and then 3 vs 5. A huge defensive effort meant that we managed to pull out the defensive miracle required and keep them from scoring during the penalty kill with some match defining saves from Tanay Shah. But as soon as it goes back to 5 on 5, Wakefield find themselves within touching distance at 6-7 with only seconds to go. But in the end there was not enough time for them to draw the match, and the Grizzlies end their losing streak with a well-earned and very entertaining 7-6 win.
Scorers: Sandris Sikorka (2) Pier-Olivier Marchand (2) Jack Meadows (1) Andrew Wiseman (1) Samuel Lehtinen (1)
Warwick Grizzlies vs Cotsworld Scorpions 6-7
During the afternoon, we played unknown opposition Scorpions. A team we later found out hosted several GB youth players. Another fascinating and close game saw the Scorpions get pegged back several times. However, it was the Grizzlies that lead into the first break courtesy of goals from Sandris Sikorka and Jack Meadows, but a familiar feeling saw us lose control in the second period conceding 3 with the only consolation coming from a classic Marchand counter attack. Panic crept in as the game started slipping further out of reach at 6-4. But an inspired comeback lead by Pier and Jack meant that we were back in the game at 6-6. Despite this though, whilst pushing for a late winner, we were caught on the counter attack, and the Scorpions got that all important late winner leaving the final score at a disappointing 6-7.
Scorers: Sandris Sikorka (2) Jack Meadows (2) Pier-Olivier Marchand (2)
Despite the second result, it was a very pleasing showing from the team, and a fantastic effort to pick up the elusive win. Special mention must definitely go to Chris Witney and Samuel Lehtinen who, due to team shortages, played almost every single minute of game time, putting the team before even their own personal health. Tanay Shah for some excellent saves eventually resulting in a well-earned win. And finally to Pier-Olivier Marchand for playing his last competitive games for the club as he is off to Canada in the new year to finish his degree. We will definitely miss his goals, character and general rum and cokes. Hope to see you at Old Boys in the future!