Mike Wall defends the Smithers Steelheads net against the Ice Demons on January 13 in Kitimat.

Kitimat Ice Demons take two wins over weekend

The Kitimat Ice Demons came out ahead in two games on the weekend, against the Houston Luckies and the Smithers Steelheads.

The Kitimat Ice Demons achieved nearly all of their goals with 6-2 and 5-4 wins over Houston Luckies, Saturday night and over Smithers Steelheads on Sunday afternoon to wind up the 2012-13 regular CIHL season schedule.

With Smithers losing at home to Williams Lake last week and again Saturday night in Prince Rupert, without the services of goaltender Mike Wall, the Demons had their best chance to beat the repeat CIHL regular season champions when they showed up with only 13 skaters on Sunday.

First though, the Ice Demons executed well on Saturday night and controlled most of the play in their

6-2 win over the Houston Luckies who did not look at all like the Luckies of old. With over 730 fans in place the Demons took a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back. Goals from Derek DeLisser just 2:45 into the period, saw assists to Nick Markowski and Jeff Mildenberger. With eight minutes gone Derek Wakita made it 2-0 in a nice combination play with Ian Coleman and Terry Whelan, who earned assists and six minutes later Terry Whelan (Kyle Madsen, Derek Wakita) scored on a power play to give the Demons a three-goal cushion at the intermission as the Demons out-shot the Luckies 16-16.

The Ice Demons added two goals in the second, first at the five minute mark when Brandon Wakita tapped a rebound out of the air after Derek DeLisser and Josh Slanina’s hard fore check allowed DeLisser a good shot. Both earned assists. Five minutes later the difference went to 5-0 as Kyle Madsen’s huge point slap shot ticked off a stick and went high over Colton Wardrop in the Luckies’ net. The Demons and Luckies each has 13 shots in the period.

The Demons came out a tad slow in the third and goaltender Brett Vilness was victimized on an Alonzo Slaney shoot in that bounced awkwardly off the boards, coming out on the open side of the net where Blair Dinelle was in place to slide it under the goaltender before he could get back to his left post. The Luckies got another goal back on a mishandled puck that allowed Blair Dinelle in alone on Vilness to score at 16:46. Assists went to Derek Dinelle and Brandon West.

The Demons, playing cautiously as the Luckies tried to get back in the game, got one back 70 seconds later when Jordan Goncalves unloaded a hard shot off a nice feed by Terry Whelan and Jeff Mildenberger to complete the scoring.

On Sunday, after their unexpected 3-2 loss in Prince Rupert on Saturday, the Steelheads had Mike Wall back in goal for the last game of the season … but were still short some important players like Jody Pederson, Rob Millar and Randall Groot when they took the ice against the Demons.

Just six second after the first face-off, Ian Coleman found himself in the box for a hook and even short-handed the Smithers power play was effective and the Steelheads had the lead 1-0 in 34 seconds with Ian Smith snapping an Eric Smith pass behind Tyson Craven on the power play.

The Ice Demons pulled into a 1-1 tie at 16.27 when Brandon Wakita connected off a pass from Jordan Goncalves, but while the Demons were raising their sticks in celebrations some pushing broke out behind the net and when it was over two Ice Demons, Derek DeLisser and Jeff Baker found themselves accompanying Smithers’ Adam DeVries to the penalty box, all for roughing after the whistle.

Smithers got the lead back on that power-play, with Darryl Young getting the puck under Craven at 16.08. An angry DeLisser coming off the penalty box didn’t make it to the bench as he collided with a Smithers player, pushing him and earning a swift 10 minutes misconduct penalty.

Slashing penalties came to Devries at 14:38 and left the Demons a man short at 10:16 but neither power play resulted in any damage.

With 2:09 to go Nick Markowski backhanded a Ben Rumley rebound behind Mike Wall to give pull the Ice Demons even and with just 31 seconds left, the crowd had something to cheer for when Derek Wakita took a nice cross ice pass from Jeff Mildenberger as the Demons applied some late pressure and Wall was unable to make the stop. Total shots in the period were Smithers 15, Kitimat 12. Tom Mildenberger took over the net from Tyson Craven at the seven-minute mark of the first period after Craven left with an injury.

In the second period, despite four power plays for Smithers, it was Kitimat that maintained its lead at the end of the period but not before Adam Devries had pulled Smithers into a 3-3 tie just 35 seconds into the second period. It was the third goal against the Demons in half a minute in the two games. But the Ice Demons came back to score with five minute left in the period, to restore the lead, on another nice goal by Derek Wakita (Terry Whelan, Ian Coleman). It was a power play goal, with Lane Perry serving a holding penalty.

Smithers put on a drive in the third, but took their turn earning the hand-up from referee Noble four times in the period. On a slashing penalty to Lane Perry at 12:48, the Kitimat power play reacted perfectly, getting the 4-2 goal from Terry Whelan (Derek Wakita, Ian Coleman) in just 16 second.

The penalty parade returned to Kitimat in the last four minutes and Jeff Baker was in the box on a hooking call that had the crowd booing and Baker enraged. The Smithers power play went into action and again it was Adam Devries ((Darryl Young) pulling the trigger and Demons had 3:37 to kill in the game. They were doing fine until Nick Markowski was called for goalie interference at 1:40, as Wall, outside his net and spinning to cover up the puck, actually took the feet out from under Markowski.

More boos rained down, but the desperate Demons were up to the task and wound down the game for the 5-4 win.

– Contributed