The 2013/2014 Central Interior Hockey League is now in the books and the Prince Rupert Rampage are preparing to begin their playoff push this Saturday night.
The Rampage finished with a record of 7-10-1 for a total of 15 points, which put them as the fourth seed in the western conference playoffs. The Terrace River Kings topped the conference standings with 25 points, based on a 12-5-1 record, which was just one point ahead of the Kitimat Ice Demons who finished with a record of 9-3-6. The Smithers Steelheads will be the third seeded team with 19 points based on a record of 9-8-1.
The seeding sets up a best-of-three first round playoff match between Terrace and Prince Rupert, two teams who are no strangers to each other. Between the regular season and the pre-season Challenge Cup, the two teams have faced off a total of five times this season and have been fairly evenly matched. Prince Rupert won two of those games and Terrace won three games in a series that included both a shootout and a 10-1 blowout in favour of the River Kings.
Offensively the goals against between the two teams during the regular season, aided by the blowout, tell a different story. The Rampage scored 11 goals against Terrace during the season while the Kings found the back of the net 22 times against Prince Rupert. And while Prince Rupert finished with no players cracking the top 20 scorers list for the season, the River Kings had three players present including Josh Murray, the league’s third highest scorer with 36 points in 18 games.
The first game of the playoff series will take place at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre Arena this Saturday night before moving to Terrace for game two and, if needed, game three the following weekend.
Look for results from this weekend’s game in next Wednesday’s issue of the Northern View.