Rampage give Stampeders the boot at Civic Centre

The Prince Rupert Rampage improved to 3-0 to start the year with their 5-1 win over the Williams Lake Stampeders on Saturday. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
Cole Morris takes the puck behind the net during play against the Stampeders. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
Young Rampage fans find an on ice play particularly humorous. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)
Rampage captain Kory Movold celebrates with his team after scoring his third goal of the season to put the Rampage up 4-1. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The Prince Rupert Rampage keep rolling to start the CIHL season, with a 5-1 win over the Williams Lake Stampeders on Saturday sending them to a perfect 3-0 start to the year.

It was the second game in as many nights for each team, the Rampage coming off a win over Quesnel, while Williams Lake fell to Terrace in overtime. The visiting side looked much fresher to start the game however, with the Stampeders more than tripling the Rampage in first period shots, 18-5.

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Despite this advantage, it was Prince Rupert that got on the board first as Graeme Lodge managed to put a puck past Willie Sellars for his first goal of the season with just under three minutes left in the first. The shots discrepancy proved to be too much before the period was out though, and with just over a minute to play Kaleb Boyle tied the game while Rupert’s Jacob Santurbano sat in the box for interference.

Prince Rupert goalie Tomoki Yoshizawa and his teammates get ready to defend following a faceoff deep in their zone. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The Rampage picked up their offensive zone time in the middle frame, and were rewarded halfway through when Jeremy Boot snagged the lead back for his team. The score held for the rest of the period, thanks in large part to the play of goaltender Tomoki Yoshizawa. It was his first start of the season after Kieran Sharpe backstopped the team to their first two victories, and Yoshizawa’s heads up play saw him save 31-32 shots through 40 minutes.

READ MORE: Rampage jump to 2-0 with win over Quesnel Kangaroos

Just like Friday night the Rampage took a 2-1 lead into the third, and just like Friday night they used the final 20 minutes to put the game away. This time though they got their breathing room early when Judd Repole flew into the zone to score his second goal of the season just 41 seconds in. Coming off his two goal game against Quesnel, captain Kory Movold added a fourth goal for Prince Rupert at 11:57 to make the margin a comfortable one.

Prince Rupert’s Marcus Atchison, Graeme Lodge and Mckenna Wombdiska watch their team close out the game against Williams Lake. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The Rampage tightened up their defence in the final 20 as well, giving Yoshizawa a bit of a break by allowing just four shots on goal. Boot would add a late power play goal, his second of the night and third on the season, to leave no doubt as to who the superior team was on the night.

Defenceman Tyler Ostrom had nothing but praise for his goalie following the game. “‘Smokes’ played unreal. It was his game, and he played unreal.”

Opponents collide during action between the Prince Rupert Rampage and Williams Lake Stampeders. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Ostrom also spoke to the continued success of the team’s defensive efforts, with the Rampage now allowing a mere four goals through the opening three games. “I think we’ve locked it down a lot more under our new system on the 5 on 5. It’s a full team effort,” Ostrom said of his unit.

Boot was the main man offensively, with his pair of goals including the game winner. He now has three goals on the season. “I think it’s our forecheck. We had a lot of possession and lot of good chances, the team never gives up,” Boot credited for his offensive outburst.

Rampage players all signed autographs for young fans following the game. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

(Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

(Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

(Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The Rampage now have a bit of a break before their next tilt. It will be their first road game of the season as they travel to Kitimat to play the Ice Demons on Oct. 18. Prince Rupert will be back home the next night to play a game against Hazelton for the first time since 2012.

READ MORE: Rampage vs. Steelheads

Boot says with some adjustments, such as in their neutral zone play, it will be hard to stop this team. “Sometimes we get caught deep, so I think if we can just tighten that up a bit we can skate with any team in the league.”

Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
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