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KIJHL  

Chiefs remember Sheridan

It will be a bittersweet night when the Kelowna Chiefs open up their home season tonight at Rutland Arena.

The usual buzz associated with any home opener will be quelled somewhat as the team says its public goodbye to longtime owner Grant Sheridan.

Sheridan lost his brief battle with bacterial meningitis July 28. He was only 47.

"It's sort of a balancing act. We're attacking it as a tribute to Grant, celebrating what he's done for us, for the league, for the team and for the community, and the legacy he's left behind," said Chiefs GM Jason Tansem.

"It's going to be emotional, for sure. But, it's going to be a big night for opening night that he was always ramped up for."

Scotty Berg, who sang at the memorial service will sing Hallelujah and the national anthem.

"(That's) going to be pretty emotional."

All the players on the Chiefs will wear name bars reading Sheridan for the game. That is in addition to the GS stickers each team in the league will wear on the back of their helmets to honour Sheridan.

Tansem expects the tribute to run about 30 minutes.

Sheridan's wife Cherie and son Tanner will drop the ceremonial puck.

"The tribute is great ... everybody wants that tribute for Grant, but once that puck drops, they want to get the season going and have our best season yet in memory of Grant," said Tansem.

It will take a lot to top last season's record-setting year, in which the Chiefs won 43 games, and lost just three in regulation time.

But, Tansem said, success is not just about wins and losses.

"Overall, the fan experience is what we're about, and the community relationship and involvement...

"As players, they're going to remember their experience in Kelowna and their experienced time with the Kelowna Chiefs far more than they are going to remember what our record is.

"That's really what we focus on, for the boys to be in the community, to be in school, and to be out there and recognized."

Friday's home opener against the Chase Heat begins at 7 p.m.



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Chiefs double the Eagles

The Kelowna Chiefs played their second game of the regular season and skated away with a hard fought 4-2 victory over the Sicamous Eagles, Saturday.

The first period was scoreless, with the Chiefs outshooting the hosts 10-4.

Kayson Gallant opened the scoring with assists from Porter and Avery. Sicamous tied it minutes later before the Chiefs regained the league with a power play goal from Blain Worthing with help from Meszaros to end the second period with kelowna with the lead.

The teams exchanged goals in the third period, with another power play goal by Logan Keating with Meszaros getting another assist along with Marchand. 

Kayson gallant secured the win in an empty net with only four seconds remaining.

Final shots were 40-20 for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs' home opener is this Friday, Sept 20, at Rutland Arena.



KIJHL to wear 'GS'

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League begins regular season play tonight, and every helmet in the league will be sporting a GS sticker, in remembrance of Kelowna Chiefs president and GM Grant Sheridan, who passed away this summer of bacterial meningitis at age 47.

"It's a testament to Grant's impact not only on the people around the Kelowna Chiefs but across the entire league," says GM Jason Tansem.

The players will all be wearing the GS sticker, and any fans who want one for their vehicle or business can donate in Grant's memory to two local charities.

"Mind Right, which was a Chiefs team initiative, and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, were two of Grant's favourite charities, and that's where the money is going," added Tansem.

The Chiefs begin play tonight in Summerland, with their home opener Sept. 20 against Chase.

You can donate by following this link.



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Chiefs win as season looms

The Kelowna Chiefs turned the tables on the North Okanagan Knights Saturday in the Rutland Arena.

Still stinging from a 4-0 defeat the previous night at home, it was the Chiefs who came out victorious Saturday, doubling the same Knights 4-2 in the final pre-season game for both teams.

The KIJHL regular season begins next weekend.

Blain Worthing opened the scoring for the Chiefs but the Knights quickly responded to tie the contest after one period.

The game changed in the second period when Leo Harju the “Finnish Flash” danced around a North Okanagan defender and ripped a shot high over the shoulder and bar down.

Isaac Dutka made it 3-2 and Worthing tallied again with his second of the night to put the game out of reach and a 4-2 final in front of another large pre-season crowd.

The Chiefs outshot the visitors 41-28.

Kelowna finished pre-season with a 2-1-1 record.

Both teams will make some final decisions in preparations for opening weekend.

The Chiefs open up the regular season next Friday and Saturday on the road, before returning home Friday Sept. 20 for their home opener, and a tribute to Grant Sherdian.

Tickets are available at www.kelownachiefs.com



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