The Prince Rupert Rampage faced off against the Terrace River Kings on Saturday night in a losing effort that included plenty of hard hitting action for the packed crowd.
The hits came early and often in the first period as the two rivals picked up right where they left off after their last game. With 10:38 to go after play had been whistled down, the Rampage’s Travis Helland provided some fireworks for the fans as he put down two River Kings players with a single punch before punching down and getting on the back of River Kings captain Steve Cullis at centre ice. After a lengthy delay to sort out the penalties, Helland was assessed 14 minutes total and ejected from the game and, when the rest of the penalties were assessed, the result was a River Kings powerplay. But it would be Prince Rupert that stuck first as Jordan Weir sniped a wristshot by Patrick Leal with 4:28 to go, giving Prince Rupert a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes.
In the second Prince Rupert found themselves on the powerplay midway through, but it would be the River Kings’ Craig Vinneau who put one past Keano Wilson from in close to for a tying shorthanded goal with 12:09 to play. Just over four minutes later Nathan Soucie fired on on Wilson that he thought he had but that trickled through to give the River Kings the lead. While Prince Rupert had a lot of good chances late in the second, including a great pad save by Leal from right in front, the River Kings would keep that lead heading into the third.
And late in the third the River Kings would put the proverbial nail in the coffin as Derick Jurista finished off a 3-on-1 rush and Soucie capitalized on a fall by Wilson that left him with a wide-open net to shoot on with 4:09 to go. In the end the River King took the 4-1 win.
The Rampage and Kings will face off again in Terrace on Saturday night.