The Prince Rupert Rampage headed to the Bulkley Valley this weekend for a Saturday game against the undefeated Smithers Steelheads and a Sunday game against the Hazelton Wolverines and came away with two points.
In Saturday’s game against Smithers, it was the Rampage who struck first as Jared Andreesen put one past Mike Wall just 39 seconds into the game. Smithers, however, would respond quickly with a goal by Spencer Brooks with just over 15 minutes to go, and Eric Smith would give the home squad the lead less than four minutes later. That would be all the scoring in the first and, as it would turn out, all the scoring in the game for the Rampage.
In the second Randall Groot extended the Smithers lead to two, beating Keith Movold just 2:43 into the period. After a long period of back and forth play, Smithers would add two late goals from Rob Millar with 2:50 to play and Russ Blanchard with 1:47 to go to give Smithers a commanding 5-1 lead heading into the final frame.
The third would turn out to be much the same as the second, with Devon Booth scoring for Smithers 21 seconds into the period, Cody Cringan made it 7-1 5:22 later and Adam DeVries added to the Smithers lead with just 1:32 to go to give Smithers the 8-1 victory.
In Sunday’s game the Wolverines were the first to get on the board but Rupert followed shortly after to finish the first tied 1-1. The second period Rupert pulled ahead with three goals to Hazelton’s one to finish the second down 4-2. The third period was still end to end action with lots of big hits and only a few penalties and with less than four minutes left Hazelton scored to close the gap to one. With less than a minute left, the Wolverines pulled their goalie hoping to tie it up but Rupert cashed in on the empty net to finish the game with the 5-3 win.
The Rampage remain third in the CIHL Western conference with seven points, one back of Terrace with eight points and well behind the 14 points of the Kitimat Ice Demons, who defeated Hazelton but went on to lose to Steelheads as well this weekend.
The Rampage will face off against the River Kings this Saturday night and will take on the Wolverines in a rematch from last weekend in back to back games on Saturday and Sunday. Look for results from those games next week in the Prince Rupert Northern View.