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CIHL divisional final matchups decided

Hazelton faces Terrace in the west, Quesnel and Williams Lake face off in the east
The Quesnel Kangaroos (in white) will face their CIHL East Division rival Williams Lake Stampeders for the division title starting Feb. 24 in Quesnel. (Facebook photo)

For the second year in a row the Hazelton Wolverines have swept the Prince Rupert Rampage to set up a West Division final against the Terrace River Kings.

Meanwhile, on the eastern side of the Central Interior League Hockey League, the Quesnel Kangaroos also swept their best-of-three divisional semi-final series against the Smithers Steelheads. They will play the Williams Lake Stampeders in the East Division final.

Saturday (Feb. 17) in Hazelton, the first period was quiet with only one goal charted by CIHL regular season scoring champion Tanner Wort to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. Period 1 was also startlingly quiet in terms of penalties with no minutes recorded. The previous week a second score sheet was needed to accommodate all the penalties in Game 1 of the West Division semi-final.

The home team set the pace in the second period, though, with Jack Lenchyshyn and Denver Maloney banging in markers in the first three-and-a-half minutes.

The lone highlight of the night for Rupert came late in the frame when Hunter Johnson scored. That would be it for the Rampage, though, and it was quickly erased when Maloney bulged the twine for his second just before the buzzer.

Only four minutes of penalties were handed out, two each to Tyler Ostrom (Rampage) and Cameron MacPhee (Wolverines).

Up 4-1 to start the final period, Hazelton would go on to add three more from Scott Docherty, Dawson Mckenzie and Joel Patsey for a decisive 7-1 final.

Hazelton will open the divisional final at home against Terrace this Saturday (Feb. 24) with Game 2 scheduled for March 2 in Terrace and Game 3 on March 3 (if necessary), also in Terrace.

The other divisional semi-final was much less of a blowout. Quesnel arrived in Smithers Feb. 17 one-up in the series following their 6-4 victory the week before at home.

Full stats were not available at the time of publication, but Quesnel never lost the lead throughout the game jumping out to 3-1 lead in the first and extending it to 6-3 in the second.

The Steelheads made a valiant effort to bring it back in the third period shutting the Roos out of the scoring, but were only able to muster two goals of their own in making the final 6-5.

Quesnel will face off at home against Williams Lake on Feb. 24. On March 2 and 3 (if necessary), the series moves to Williams Lake.

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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