The Rupert Rampage blew the lights out of the Nechako North Stars in a huge comeback, winning 5-3 on the road, on Jan. 8.
Hitting the ice hard, the home team went up two goals in the first and then up a third early in the second, leaving the Rampage with a three-goal deficit to chase.
“We came out with energy and we had a game plan and we were sticking to it,” Dave Boon, North Stars coach, said.
However, even though the Rampage had nothing to show on the scoreboard for their efforts in the first, they did have their chances and stuck to what they were doing, Roger Atchison, Rampage coach, said.
Once the visitors got going, there was no stopping them.
“[We] shaked out the cobwebs in a big way,” Atchison said, “… and then all of a sudden we got a little momentum and a couple of good little hits woke us up in the second.”
While the Rampage honed in and refocused their efforts, the visitors play became loose. The North Stars took a costly five trips to the penalty box during the second period.
“They came a little unraveled,” Atchison said.
The Rampage maximized their chances by avoiding being rough and capitalized on the power-play — scoring four goals in a row that same period to make it 4-3 going into the third.
“It just snowballed,” Atchison said.
“It was just a mixture of [bad] disciplined play on our part, but their power-play was hitting pretty good and that was pretty much what changed the tide of the game,” Boon said.
Though the North Stars manged to regroup in the final period and hold their own again, it was too little too late. An empty-net goal from number 18, Judd Repole, with 90 seconds before the final whistle sealed the comeback for the Rampage.
“I have to give credit, the guys never quit and they just kept coming,” Atchison said. “We just got to just build off this and get ready for the final push of the season … It’s only going to get tougher.”
The Rampage were originally slated to play the Hazelton Wolverines on Jan. 9, but after a last-minute cancellation got to head home early. The next scheduled game is set for Jan. 15 away against the Terrace River Kings.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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