The Prince Rupert Rampage took to the ice against the undefeated Kitimat Ice Demons on Saturday night and came away with their first win of the 2011/2012 campaign while handing the Demons their first loss.
After more than 10 minutes of back and forth skating that saw both Kitimat’s Kolin Alderman and Prince Rupert’s Keith Movold shutting the door on the offence, the Rampage opened the scoring when Chris Brlecic’s slapshot from the circle found the back of the net. The Rampage would add to that lead with 3:22 to play as Justin Fontaine fed Byron Tate who put it by Alderman. After 20 minutes the Rampage enjoyed a 2-0 lead.
But the Demons, the defending league and Coy Cup champs, were not about to call it a night. Just under 90 seconds in Craig Hewitson pulled Kitimat to within one on the powerplay, while a powerplay marker from Brandon Wakita tied things up with 10:15 to play in the period. The Rampage showed they were determined to pick up the win though, with Brlecic netting his second of the game with about eight minutes to play and Jeremy Boot scoring a rare shorthanded breakaway goal to give the home team the two goal lead. While it looked like that would last into the final frame, a powerplay goal by Kitimat’s Kyle Boudreault with just 13 seconds left narrowed the gap to one and set up an exciting finish.
But after a period that saw a combined five goals, Movold and Alderman settled down in the third and nobody was able to score again until Jacob Santurbano hit the open net with less than a second to go to give the Rampage the 5-1 win.
In other western conference action, the Terrace River Kings downed the Omenica Ice 6-3 to narrow the gap with Kitimat in the west to just two points.
The Rampage will host the 3-2 Houston Luckies on Saturday night and the unbeaten Smithers Steelheads on Sunday afternoon for doubleheader action. Look for results next week.