Prince Rupert came out on top of a heated affair on Saturday night, rolling over the Hazelton Wolverines 6-1 in a game that saw nearly 100 penalty minutes.
Following a loss to Kitimat the night before, Prince Rupert was eager to return to home ice and a quick opportunity to put the road game behind them. They wasted little time following puck drop, and with Hazelton’s Therian Mould sitting in the penalty box, Jacob Santurbano notched his first goal of the season 5:31 in to give the Rampage the lead.
|Prince Rupert's Jean-Luc Fournier and Hazelton's Justa Sam battle in front of the net, while Judd Repole goes for a shot block. Devon Gerrits stands ready to make the save. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
Special teams would see the Rampage double their lead just two minutes later, although this time it was their shorthanded team at work. Hazelton goalie Keano David — who was in charge of the Rampage crease for six games last season — came out to play the puck, but whiffed on the pass attempt. The puck fell to Kale Burns who had his shot saved by David, but the rebound fell right to Cole Morris. With David still well out of his goal, Morris scored an easy first goal of the season.
It was a short night on the bench for Hazelton head coach Allan Tolmie. After Drew Rose received a roughing call at 12:23 of the first, Tolmie went off on the referee, earning him an ejection from the game. Tolmie would watch the remainder of the contest from the corner of the rink behind the glass.
|Cleanup at the blue line. Even the referee could not avoid being caught up in this multi-skater spill. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
Shortly after Rampage captain Kory Movold brought the fans to their feet, speeding down the left side and undressing a Wolverines defender with a deke before boosting the lead to three. David got a good chunk of the shot, but the puck managed to trickle over the line for Movold’s fourth goal of the year.
“We had a tough loss last night, so we really tried to bounce back tonight and take it to them,” Movold said following the win. “We went into the game yesterday not as prepared, but we came in with the right mindset today.”
|Rampage captain Kory Movold stays alert for his next scoring opportunity. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
Prince Rupert would come out flying with this same mindset after the first intermission, and just 43 seconds into the second stretched their lead to 4-0. Jordan Weir brought the puck down the right side on a two on one, sending a pass across at the perfect moment to Mckenna Wombdiska who buried the one timer shot.
Hazelton managed to get a goal back on a tally by Brandon Russell at 5:57, but the Rampage quickly snuffed out any momentum that goal may have brought. A scramble in the Hazelton crease saw their player close his hand on the puck, resulting in a penalty shot. Movold stepped up and made no mistake, deking out David and sending him the wrong way before tucking the puck in on the left side.
|Prince Rupert's Mckenna Wombdiska and Hazelton's Anthony Louie begin the exchange that would land each of them misconduct penalties. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
With the game out of hand things started to get ugly, and the penalties quickly piled up. Wombdiska and Hazelton’s Anthony Louie received misconducts halfway through the period for getting into it, with Wombdiska earning himself an early trip to the showers after he was ejected for an extra shot at his opponent while they headed to the box. Prince Rupert’s Jared Carter and Phil Morrison would also trade stick shots at each other late in the period, securing them some extra time in the sin bin.
The Rampage didn’t let the scrappiness affect their on-ice play though, and before the period was out Movold had his hat trick and sixth of the year as Prince Rupert blew the game wide open to 6-1.
|Jared Meers is denied as he tries to tuck the puck past Keano David. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
Prince Rupert managed to keep out of too much trouble in the third, and were able to see the game home to improve to 4-1 on the season. The result means Hazleton is still looking for their first win in their return to the CIHL, as they drop to 0-3. The Wolverines have scored just four goals this season, while allowing 23.
Devon Gerrits made his season debut in the crease for the Rampage, stopping 31/32 shots for the victory. Gerrits returned to the team this year after a hiatus, but said he’s still been keeping active on the ice.
“I’ve been playing rec hockey and practicing every week here to keep up the skills,” Gerrits said after the game. “It was nice to get back into it after being off for a couple years. It ended up getting chippy, but everyone held together and we put together a nice win.”
|Marcus Atchison greets former teammate Keano David in the post-game handshake line. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
Movold said it was important to focus on the team’s strengths when things started to escalate penalty wise. “We’re more of a skilled, fast team, so we just kept our composure and played through it.”
Next up for Prince Rupert is a trip to Smithers on Saturday to play the Steelheads, who they defeated 4-2 at home on opening day. Hazelton also will take a trip to Smithers for their next game, but not until Nov. 2.
Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
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