The Prince Rupert Rampage kicked off 2017 by achieving something the team has never done, posting back-to-back shutouts.
The Rampage returned to the ice after a three-week hiatus and beat the Kitimat Ice Demons in two games, 5-0 and 12-0.
Kory Movold scored four goals in the two games, including a hat trick on home ice Saturday night. But he was focused on the Rampage turning around their luck.
“That was a good bounceback weekend for us,” he said.
Devin Gerrits and Brett Roth each posted a shutout, the first for both in the Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL).
“Our goalies really saved us. (Gerrits) really earned his shutout last night and Roth came up with some big saves tonight,” general manager Ron German said.
Movold, who leads the team with nine goals, agreed.
“Having a good goalie is the best thing you can have. They keep us in games and their performances this weekend really helped us and it’s going to be good for us,” he said.
On Friday night, Rupert travelled to Kitimat and came away with a 5-0 win to open the calendar year. Goals were scored by Jean-Luc Fournier (two), Movold, Jared Meers and Cole Morriss, who is a new player from Prince George the team picked up when they went out east.
It was the first shutout for the rhinos since Nov. 27, 2011 when they beat the Hazelton Wolverines 1-0.
The Rampage took it to another level on Saturday night, dominating the Ice Demons.
Movold scored the first goal of the game early. Josh Cook, Cole Atchison and Meers added markers in the period to make it 4-0. Roth also made a good save on a breakaway by Kitimat’s Josh Slanina.
In the second, Cook scored his second of the game on a nice shot from a bad angle that made it past starting goalie Brett Vilness. After Movold scored his second of the match to make it 6-0, the Ice Demons made a goalie change and put in Shahar Moudahi.
The Rampage showed other strengths besides scoring goals by killing off 1:30 of a 5-on-3 penalty kill.
With two minutes left in the period, Movold fired his hat trick goal into the net while shorthanded.
The onslaught kept coming in the final frame. Meers tapped in his second of the game, both on the powerplay.
Marcus Atchison’s goal made it 9-0. Cole Atchison added his second of the game and newcomer Morriss netted two of his own to cap the 12-0 shellacking. The Rampage outshot Kitimat 40-12 in the game.
The weekend sweep was just what the Rampage needed, after the team ended 2016 having lost four times in five games.
“It’s going to boost our confidence for sure. Things just went our way and that’s a big booster for us right now to go and play against Williams Lake and those upper teams,” Movold said.
In the final three games of the season, it will be a tough test with a home game against the Stampeders on Saturday and two games against Smithers coming up. But German thinks the team is up for the challenge.
“I think the boys are going to ramp up here,” he said.