The Williams Lake Stampeders, with productive veteran Francis Johnson added to their lineup, did not have a lot of trouble eliminating the shorthanded Quesnel Kangaroos (14 skaters) from the Coy Cup in their final game of the round robin in the Coy Cup.
Quesnel went 3-0 and their one goaltender, Ryan Manderson, was overwhelmed with 23 goals against in the tournament.
Williams Lake took the game 7-1 to cement their place in the semi-final today (March 15) against the loser of last night’s final round robin game between the Terrace River Kings and the Kitimat Ice Demons. Game stars were Brent McIsaac for Williams Lake and Paul Girodat for the Kangaroos.
It was a tame affair compared to many matches this season between the teams with the Stamps taking four minor penalties and the Kangaroos six.
Much came down to the Kitimat-Terrace game to see who would get the bye to Saturday’s final. A three-goal win by Terrace could have seen them earn the day off. Unluckily for Terrace River Kings, which has played a hard, fast brand of hockey all week with its own power play striking for seven man-advantage goals, came out a little flat and were forced to take early penalties. Kitimat, on the other hand did a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde act in the game with its Jekyll-side capitalizing with three of four goals in the first period scored on the power play.
Two came from defenceman David Venman, returned from injury, who also collected assists on one of the other two goals scored by Ben Rumley and Derek De Lisser. Terrace took six penalties in the first frame, and Kitimat just two.
In the second period the roles were reversed as Terrace came out hard looking to get a hold in the game and it was Kitimat’s Mr. Hyde team’s turn to catch the ref’s eye as they took five penalties to Terrace’s five. But Kitimat goalie Tom Mildenberger stood tall in the net letting only one point blast from Corbin Legros that he never saw. But Kitimat also capitalized once more of the power play at 17:38 when David Venman set up Ian Coleman for one of the better goals of the night, a hard one timer that Garret Muir could not get to.
Total penalties were Terrace 38 minutes and Kitimat 40 minutes.
The semi-final game between the River Kings and the Williams Lake Stampeders goes at 8:00 p.m. tonight, with the winner getting a chance at the Coy Cup in tomorrow’s final against the Kitimat Ice Demons.