~By Dan Mesec
With a devastating defeat over the Prince Rupert Rampage the Smithers Steelheads are headed to the second round of the CIHL playoffs, smashing the Rampage by a score of 10-2, in a two game sweep.
Having only 10 skaters touch the ice, Prince Rupert knew they were in for a long night.
Only a few minutes after the first drop of the puck the Steelheads went of the penalty kill, with the Rampage showing strong signs that they had come to play. Although they had more than a few good chances to bury the puck, there was nothing getting by Mike ‘The Wall’ Wall. Then, only ten minutes in, Steelheads forward Rob Miller fired one topside to get the ball rolling and put up the first point of the night.
The rest of the first period was pretty evenly matched. Both teams seemed to be keeping up with shots almost even, one to one. However, with the time winding down in the first, the Steelheads put the pressure on with only three-seconds left to secure a 2-0 lead going into the second.
The second period was a disaster for the Rampage. Giving up five unanswered goals launching the Steelheads into the final chapter of the game with a 7-0 lead. The Rampage and their short bench clearly couldn’t stand up to the power and endurance of the Steelheads.
Though after changing goaltenders in the third, Prince Rupert kept fighting, as tired as they were, to score two and shatter any hope of a shutout for the Steelheads.
However, in the end it was the numbers that the Rampage just couldn’t keep up with sending them packing after a long season of rebuilding.
“It’s been a big turnaround year so we’re not full of numbers like we use to be,” said Rampage head coach, Tom Jackson.
“We took a bunch of 30 plus year old players, and they all left the team, and we replaced them with 18 year olds and quite honestly they just don’t quit, they just keep going.”
With another decisive win the Steelheads push their perfect record to 20-0 as they head into the next round of the post-season.