Brayden Horcoff notched a goal during action in Saturday’s game between the Prince Rupert Rampage and Smithers Steelheads.

Brayden Horcoff notched a goal during action in Saturday’s game between the Prince Rupert Rampage and Smithers Steelheads.

Steelheads double up on Rampage

The Prince Rupert Rampage ran into some stiff competition this weekend in their lone home match-up

The Prince Rupert Rampage ran into some stiff competition this weekend in their lone home match-up against the West Division-leading Smithers Steelheads.

The boys from Prince Rupert came out strong, setting the tone to start the game and keeping the puck in Smithers’ end.

But the home side couldn’t sustain their strong play from early in the game and an unravelled third period proved to be the rhinos’ downfall, losing 6-3 Saturday night.

An early Rupert penalty to Jared Davis and then a Smithers penalty led to some four-on-four action. Whether it’s loose play, extremely tight checking, laziness, or just really tight reffing, every game at the Jim seems to have less and less flow with 20 to 30 penalties being called each game. This contest had 20.

Rampage goaltender Jordan Vanderwiel was electrifying all night. He kept the game deadlocked at zeros as the game opened up.

Rupert’s Mike Coolin hit the post and then Smithers hit the post. With bouts of sustained pressure from both teams to open the game, Cook got checked into the boards awkwardly, but with no call he was upset and took an unsportsmanlike penalty for talking back to referee David Belling.

Cook’s cut was split wide open and he went to the dressing room for stitches, but returned to the game. Smithers went to the power play and generated some chances, but so did Rupert short-handed.

Rampage forward Craig Munro had a solid game, and took the puck hard to the net and drew a penalty for tripping.

The man-advantage was short-lived as Rupert’s Tyler Halliday took a penalty for interference.

Vanderwiel continued to play well and made a couple key stops short side on the penalty kill.

With the late offensive zone pressure, Smithers was able to bury one late to take a 1-0 lead after one period.

The second period started much as the first did with Rupert taking it to Smithers with the body, disrupting their breakout.

This paid immediate dividends as Smithers turned the puck over at their blueline to Jared Meers who shot it and Kory Movold got the rebound. He quickly went shelf with it to tie the affair 1-1.

The Steelheads immediately went to the power play again and created several grade-A chances in the slot only to be thwarted by Vanderwiel: with a Dominik Hasek-esque stop going from side to side on his back, stopping the puck with his blocker. The crowd and bench went crazy.

After a big hit by Rupert defenceman Jean-Luc Fournier, the boys found their legs again and started to push back through Coolin, Cole Atchinson and Devin Palmer’s line. Creating turnovers in the opposing team’s zone always helps.

The momentum took a hit though, as Cook took a charging penalty and Rupert was back on the penalty kill and in reactive mode. However, Vanderwiel did his thing in net to successfully kill off the penalty.

Then, a late penalty to the Steelheads for kneeing put the rhinos back on the power-play. This is where the game changed.

After a give-away at the Smithers blueline on the power play, Fournier chased the puck back into the neutral zone and with the Smithers player coming from in front of him a few feet away from the boards, Fournier took the body and his opponent went awkwardly into the boards.

It was one of those bang-bang plays that ended up worse for the Smithers player who had to leave the game and go to the hospital. It wasn’t a malicious looking-check but Fournier was assessed a match penalty for charging and a game misconduct on the play.

“[Our] compete level was as good as it gets tonight. The penalty was no big deal on Jean-Luc, I thought we could kill it. But the five-on-three killed us,” said coach Roger Atchison.

“I didn’t feel like there was any intent to injure from Jean-Juc, it was just a quick play and he should have backed off him. It will probably get reviewed. [We had] two good periods … other than that four minute-spell, it was a good game.”

Rupert opened the third frame having to kill off the five-minute major. After some more minors were called, Smithers capitalized on four-on-three hockey after a cross-ice pass from Brendan DeVries to Lach Davies made it 2-1 Smithers.

On a very similar play seconds later, Davies buried it again and was the beneficiary of another cross ice pass this time on a two-on-one. Smithers broke away 3-1. Still on the powerplay from the major, Mark Arnold scored for Smithers extending the lead to 4-1.

After another marker from the Steelheads made it 5-1 and having lifted Vanderwiel from duty, Jarrod Hildebrandt was pressed into action right away, turning away a half-breakaway.

Rampage defenceman Tyler Ostrom let go with a bomb from the point, and Brayden Horcoff made no mistake burying the rebound, 5-2. Later, Movold made it 5-3 with a tip in after a smart pass from Halliday coming down the left wing.

But it was too little too late for the Rupert boys, as Smithers scored an empty-netter. The final score ended 6-3 Smithers.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rose Sawka, 91, reaches out to her son Terry Sawka, on a daily visit through the window, from inside Acropolis Manor where a COVID-19 outbreak took hold on Jan 19. Rose was vaccinated for the virus on Jan. 20 and as of Feb. 25 has remained virus free. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
No increases of COVID-19 at Acropolis -16 residents now recovered

Vaccinations have helped to stabilize Prince Rupert long-term care facility virus numbers

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

BC Bus North was implemented under the NDP provincial government in 2018 when Greyhound cancelled services across northern BC. The transportation funding expires at the end of March 2021. (Photo: B.C. Transit)
BC Liberals call for immediate govt. renewal of BC Bus North funding

BC Liberals spent years ignoring need for better transportation in the North - Jennifer Rice, MLA

Prince Rupert Tourism is benefitting from funding for new welcome and wayfinding signage from the COVID-19 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. McClymont Park on the gateway into Prince Rupert is one of the first things tourists see entering the city by road. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
$695,000 Community Economic Recovery funds to benefit local organizations

Prince Rupert Tourism and Gitga’at Development Corporation to receive COVID-19 recovery funds

Wainwright Marine Services Ltd.’s “Ingenika” tugboat went missing in the Garner Canal area south and east of Kitimat on Feb. 11, resulting in two deaths and the rescue of a third man. (Wainwright Marine Photo)
Tug union demands Transport Canada protect workers along B.C. coast and rivers

ILWU makes safety demands following the deaths of two men and the rescue of a third

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read