The Terrace River Kings rode their power play and a third period outburst to victory over the Prince Rupert Rampage on Saturday, taking back the CIHL’s top spot in the process.
It had been just a week before, under the lights of Hometown Hockey in Prince Rupert, that the Rampage had burst out to an 8-5 victory over their rivals to leap into first place in the league. With the scene shifting back to Terrace however, and the River Kings able to have plenty more reinforcements available, it would be a different tale out on the ice.
Kyler Braid got the scoring started for the home side just 2:58 into the game, but Kory Movold equaled for the visitors less than five minutes later. It was a barrage of shots for Terrace in the period though, and another of their 15 — a shot by Connor Beauchemin on the power play — would give the River Kings a 2-1 lead after one.
Prince Rupert tied things up again midway through the middle frame on a goal by Tyler Ostrom, but penalty trouble again saw the Rampage surrender the go-ahead goal as Chapen Leblond struck late for Terrace with Movold sitting in the box.
The Rampage wouldn’t be able to equal a third time, and Terrace would put the game to bed midway through the third with a pair of goals less than two minutes apart by Ben Reinbolt and Leblond’s second of the game to make it 5-2. The game devolved quickly at this point, with the remaining time occupied by a slew of penalties. Prince Rupert’s Jim Lessard got into a fight with Leblond, resulting in misconducts for the pair, while Movold, teammate Jean-Luc Rendell-Fournier and Terrace’s Kyler Braid would be thrown out of the game in the final minutes. The teams traded late goals for a 6-3 final.
Terrace saw nine power plays for their special teams unit during the game, compared to Prince Rupert’s four. While the River Kings only converted two on them, it was enough to grab momentum at critical moments going into the intermissions.
“They were ready for us and played a good game,” Rampage head coach Roger Atchison said of the result. “I thought our guys competed hard, and we’ll have better results in the next few games.”
The Rampage were forced to travel with a skeleton crew, as only 14 skaters were able to make the trip. Atchison said that can be an unfortunate reality of the CIHL.
“It happens to all the teams in the league, some weekends guys are busy and working. We didn’t have our full bench, but we had a good team that went up there. Not everyone’s available all the time.”
Kieran Sharpe has been reliable in goal for Prince Rupert this season, but found himself under seige as the River Kings managed 43 shots on goal during the game.
Sharpe dropped to 3-2 on the season with the loss, while Terrace goalie Darren Beaulieu turned aside 23 of 26 shots to stay perfect on the year at 3-0.
The Rampage, along with most of the CIHL, are now off until the new year following this past weekend’s slate of games. Prince Rupert sits in second place in the league as 2019 draws to a close, their 8-2 record trailing only Terrace at 9-1. There have been some high flying performances on the team so far, highlighted by Judd Repole leading the league points race with 20, and Jordan Weir tied for the top goals mark with 10. Repole and Tyler Ostrom are also tied for the most power play points in the CIHL with six each. Goaltender Tomoki Yoshizawa has locked down the crease in his four appearances, winning all of them while allowing just nine goals for a league best 2.25 goals against average. The league is now off until the new year, with the expection of the Quesnel Kangaroos and Williams Lake Stampeders who will close out the calendar year with a Dec. 28 showdown. The Rampage return to the ice on Jan. 4 when they travel to Hazelton to take on the Wolverines.
Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
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