Following a tough start to the season, the Prince Rupert Rampage are starting to see signs that they can compete with some of the CIHL’s best teams.
The Rampage battled the Terrace River Kings to a double overtime, 4-4 tie in a game that featured bruising, physical play, multiple lead changes and a furious finish down the stretch.
“I think everyone was looking for a bit of oxygen there at the end,” said Rampage coach Roger Atchison. “Both teams were pretty tired.”
The game was tied 1-1 headed into the third period following goals by the Rampage’s Jacob Santurbano and the River King’s Luke Gordon. Prince Rupert opened the scoring in the third on a quick power play goal seconds into the period as Tyler Ostrom went top shelf over Patrick Leal off a feed from Kory Movold.
That early goal gave the Rampage some momentum, and they were able to extend the lead to two goals after Jordan Weir scored a few minutes later to make the game 3-1.
The veteran River Kings squad continued to press Prince Rupert, regaining the momentum and putting pressure in the Rampage zone. That pressure — combined with Prince Rupert sitting back in their own zone — eventually yielded three late goals by Corbin Legros, Colten Braid and Colby Ames, giving Terrace a 4-3 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the game.
“They played well,” said Atchison. “They came at us, had some really good chances, got a couple of goals and then we were in a war for the last 10 minutes. They kinda kept coming at us.”
A late penalty against cross-checking penalty against Terrace’s Steve Cullis gave Prince Rupert a man advantage in the games final two minutes. The Rampage pulled goaltender Dave Wood with just under a minute left, and Prince Rupert pressed the action in the game’s final seconds.
With eight seconds left in the game, Rampage forward Kory Movold fed Santurbano who took the puck behind the River King’s net before dropping it in front for Cole Morris who made the finish to tie the game and send it to overtime.
“It was nice to get that one in the third to tie up the game,” Atchison said.
Neither team was able to score in the two extra periods, with players from both sides fatiguing towards the end. Wood said getting a point against one of the top teams in the league was a confidence boost for the Rampage moving forward in the season, and that wins are possible no matter who the team plays.
“It’s huge momentum in that room, and I think we’re all happy with that single point,” he said. “There’s a ton of parity in the league, we can win any game when we step on the ice so we’re super confident moving forward.”