The Prince Rupert Rampage were at home this past weekend, hosting the Terrace River Kings, and after a big home win last weekend, the team hoped to notch another one.
After a good start to the first period, the Rampage got into early penalty trouble. This would prove to be the trend for the night. Although they killed off the early penalties, the River Kings got on the board early thanks to Ken Norostrom. It was a quick shot off the half boards closest to the stands that squeaked through Jarrod Hildebrandt. After exchanging penalties, Prince Rupert got some life after a great shift by Brayden Horcoff taking the puck strong to the net, and an individual effort by Devin Palmer that saw him go through two defenders only to be stopped by River Kings’ goaltender Patrick Leal. Again, off-setting penalties, then another penalty to the Rampage, would see the River Kings go on the power-play. They were finally able to convert with the man advantage through a nifty shot, short side, by Danson LeBlond to make it 2-0.
Penalties hurt Prince Rupert as they started the second period short-handed. Able to kill the penalty, the Rampage found their legs again until a turn-over in the neutral zone saw Terrace go the other way, and Reid Turner redirected the puck past Hildebrandt. Although it was a good finish, Terrace was lucky to have the puck go to Turner, as the pass looked more like a shot to make it 3-0. The Rampage pushed back, with Tyler Halliday throwing his weight around, creating space for himself and he was able to get in all alone, but was stopped. Horcoff took another trip to the box, but thanks to the hard-nosed play and some big hits by Jean Luc Fournier, the Rampage stayed very much in the game.
Late in the second there was a bit of controversy as a quick whistle from the referee denied Rupert their first goal of the game, which could have turned the tide. Guilty of undisciplined play, Rupert took a bench minor after the play for arguing the call.
“We can’t stress over the refs and make up excuses, when stuff like that happens, you just got to fight through the game and put the puck in the net,” said forward Jordan Aubee.
The third period started on the penalty kill for the Rampage, but after a gutsy blocked shot, Tyler Munro and Patrick Robert found themselves in a two on one, but Munro rung it off the crossbar. Unlucky bounces and not enough puck movement through the neutral zone contributed to the lack of goals. Again unable to convert on a 5-on-3 in the third, Terrace iced the game with a rebound goal from Colton Braid. Patrick Robert had a couple chances late, but was unable to find the back of the net. The final tally reached five goals for Terrace and zero for Rupert.
“There was no discipline tonight, everyone wanted to carry the puck themselves. Terrace played a pretty good game, they forechecked hard. We know that we have to show up to these kind of games, we can’t just take it for granted that we’re just going to show up and win,” said Jared Andreesen, who was behind the bench for the Rampage.
Aubee, however, definitely added some intensity to the game,with a fight in the second period.
“Anything we can do to get a little momentum when things aren’t going our way. I liked the intensity, and I didn’t think we had a terrible game, we were battling, and sometimes we didn’t get puck luck,” he said.
The Rampage face the River Kings again on Saturday in Terrace.