Two tough losses awaited the Prince Rupert Rampage as they headed out on their Williams Lake – Quesnel road trip this past weekend, but it wasn’t for a lack of scoring.
Eight goals were collected by the rhinos in two games, with two against the Williams Lake Stampeders and six against the Quesnel Kangaroos.
After five goals straight for the Stamps on Saturday night, Jared Meers notched two of his own midway through the third period to break Stamps goalie Justin Foote’s shutout bid.
Craig Munro assisted on both tallies, while Cole Atchison and Greg Sheppard had the other helpers.
Jarrod Hildebrandt turned away 30 of the Stamps’ 35 shots.
David Gore scored twice, Dylan Richardson had a goal and two assists and Stuart Sasges and Matt Lees notched singles for the home team Stamps (7-0-0).
“We were missing a few guys this weekend and the bench was a bit shorter, but we have a talented, hard-working group and played Williams Lake close the whole way – the only difference being Williams Lake capitalized on their chances,” said Rampage defenceman Derek Baker on Monday.
The next day, the Rampage broke out in a six-goal offensive outburst, but the team fell 9-6 to the Kangaroos (4-4-0).
Craig Munro scored twice to improve his season totals to four goals and two assists in seven games and Jordan Aubee, Tom Robinson, Cole Atchison and Jared Meers also found the back of the net in the loss.
Justin Fulton and Josh McDonald each had a hat trick for the ‘Roos with Alessio Tomassetti picking up two goals and two assists and Ryan Hanes grabbing a goal for Quesnel.
Hildebrandt and Jordan Vanderwiel split netminding duties with Hildebrandt stopping three of six shots and Vanderwiel turning aside 32 of 38.
“Both teams played Saturday night so I’m sure we both experienced a bit of fatigue at points in the game. We did a good job keeping shifts short and with purpose,” added Baker.
While the Rampage spent some long hours on a bus during the trip, the team was able to let off some steam at a Prince George Cougars game last Friday night as the home side took on the Victoria Royals, eventually winning 3-2.
“The Cougars game was a great chance to get off the bus for a few hours and watch a pretty good calibre of hockey,” said Baker.
The Rampage now find themselves in a hole, with a 1-5-1 record after seven games, but remain only one point out of a playoff spot in the Central Interior Hockey League’s West Division as Smithers holds down second-place. Smithers has two games in hand on Rupert.
After seven games, Jared Meers (5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points), Tyler Bates (4-4-8) and Kory Movald (3-5-8) are the offensive leaders for the rhinos. All three make up the team’s top line.
The next date for the Rampage is in Smithers for a doubleheader against the Steelheads on Saturday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 23.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Lac La Hache doubled up on Quesnel on Friday, winning 6-3 while Terrace survived a Steelheads comeback, hanging on for a 5-4 win.