Marcus Atchison takes a shot on Kitimat's netminder during the Rampage's 5-4 loss.

Ice Demons dent Rampage’s playoff hopes

Kitimat downs Rupert 5-4 on Saturday to gain an edge on on their West division rival.

An unfortunate alleged scuffle involving Prince Rupert Rampage captain Jared Meers and a linesman last Saturday resulted in a match penalty to Meers, carrying with it a three-game suspension as the team dropped a 5-4 decision to the Ice Demons.

A second period penalty-filled affair found both Meers and forward Craig Munro ejected, and Rupert killing off a seven-minute penalty assessed to the team.

“That was our whole goal in Kitimat – to try and not get involved in any fighting or any major penalties and I thought our guys were very disciplined, but the referee thought otherwise,” said Rampage manager Ron German.

Down 2-1 after the first period, the team handled the Ice Demons well, but ran into a hot goalie once again and made a few mistakes along the way.

“I think we outworked them but their goalie made some great, great saves and then a bad turnover for us gave Kitimat a shorthanded goal,” said German.

Devon Gerrits started in net for the Rampage and fought off multiple power-plays for the home team.

The Rampage, who now stand at 1-8-1 and have lost nine in a row, are in dire need of points against divisional rivals to make a final playoff push and they’ll get just the chance they’re looking for with two games coming up against Smithers, who currently hold down the final playoff spot in the West division, this weekend.

“That Kitimat game might have been a breaker for us, but if we can win two games against Smithers, that will help us out big time,” said the manager.

“[The team’s] ready to play at home for sure. They’re pumped to be in front of our home crowd.”

In addition to their two games against the Steelheads, the Rampage are also getting into the holiday spirit, helping the Salvation Army collect donations by being bell-ringers in front of Safeway on Dec. 17 from 4 – 8 p.m. The Rampage have appeared in front of the community on multiple occasions this season including the Royal LePage Customer Appreciation Day and Halloweenfest.

“We have the best fans in the league and I hope they continue to bring the noise and help us get some valuable points this weekend,” said Rampage defenceman Derek Baker.

“We have a couple practices this week and coach [Roger] Atchison will have a game plan ready for us to execute.”

AROUND THE LEAGUE

The Quesnel Kangaroos beat up on a short-benched Lac La Hache Tomahawks team on Saturday, winning their sixth game of the season, 15-4.