The West Kootenay Rapids Peewee team went up against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in a Tier One competition at the Nakusp Arena on Dec. 4.
One of the Rapids is Nakusp native Dakota Fizzard. This is the first time he’s played on his home ice since the beginning of 2016.
He said playing on his home ice again feels good.
“I’m used to it, so I know where the puck is going off the boards, and I know what the ice feels like.”
Shortly after the beginning of the first period, it was clear these players knew what they were doing. They were energetic, communicating well with each other and their coaches, and handled the puck with ease.
The Rapids didn’t take it easy on the Salmon Arm team.
Though the Silverbacks scored the first goal, the Rapids were quick to tie it up. By the end of the period, the score was 2-1 in favour of the home team.
Unfortunately, the second period was drastically different.
The Silverbacks scored again, and again, and again, finishing the period with a lead of 5-2 against the Rapids.
The final period was slightly better. Though the Silverbacks managed another goal, the Rapids had managed to score a few more times, bring the total up to 6-5 for the Silverbacks.
In an effort to score one more goal and tie up the game, Rapids’ coach Geoff Watts took the team’s goalie out of the net in order to get an extra player on the ice. This move wound up accidentally back firing, as the Silverbacks managed to shoot the puck into the empty net with 20 seconds left in the game.
For Fizzard, being on the team has been a learning experience.
“It feels different, because I used to skate through everybody, because I was playing House, and this is Tier Two, which is almost five steps ahead.”
Though disappointed in the loss, Watts was quick to see the silver lining.
“This is a process, they’re learning,” he said. They’re 12, so we take every game as a new opportunity and see where we get.” The Rapids will be in Spokane this weekend for two league games and it is expected these games will be close ones.
Nakusp Falcons also had several games over the weekend, but the teams didn’t fare any better than the Rapids.
All three divisions, Peewee, Bantam, and Midget, went up against their respective teams from Trail. The Peewees were defeated 6-1, Midget 6-2, and Bantam 11-2. The Peewees also had a game against Grand Forks on Sunday, but lost with a score of 6-0.